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Robin English

Robin English

(Aspirion; US: 27 Jun 2006; UK: Available as import)

Country newcomer Robin English seems to fall in line with other female roots-oriented musicians like Patty Griffin. But there is also a slickness to some of the songs that doesn’t quite display her stronger points. This is the case with the somewhat soulful and slow “I’m the One”, which only occasionally plays to her strengths. And the glossy “Baby, You’re the Man” is a rather bland track that namedrops Waylon Jennings and Janis Joplin basically for the sake of name-dropping. English should leave the producers out in the cold—as a rather bare-bones ditty “Lion and the Lamb” comes to life a la Sheryl Crow during The Globe Sessions. She returns to this later on with similar great results coming from “Mission of Mercy”. But this is quickly diminished with the quasi-raunchy and rowdy “Yellow Rose” that has been done zillions of times before. Even the ballads don’t lift the album, as they are extremely safe, judging by “Least I Can Do”. Just when you’re ready to toss the disc away, she nails the gorgeous “Wake Up Loving You”. A Christmas song and a routine pseudo-cover wrap up this decent but uneven album.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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