ROBIN GEORGE – Painful Kiss (2016)
English guitarist & composer ROBIN GEORGE has collaborated, recorded, or written songs with the likes of Phil Lynott, Robert Plant, Glenn Hughes, John Wetton, etc, and released a successful solo album in 1985. Lately, George decided it was time for his return a main artist, and “Painful Kiss” is his brand new record to be released soon.
In fact, for this album Robin George has formed a band called ‘Dangerous Music’ (as his ’85 solo album) including the powerhouse drums of Charlie Morgan (Elton John) and the solid, thundering bass of Charley Charlesworth. As special guests there’s Robin faithful friends Mel Collins (King Crimson) providing soaring saxophone lines, the late Pete Haycock (The Climax Blues Band) with a fabulous awe-inspiring slide guitar, and Jacquie Williams (Sister Sledge) on soulful backing vocals.
The album features Robin’s original versions of many songs written by him and covered by household name artists over the years, plus brand new tracks.
The CD opens with title track ‘Painful Kiss’, a truly original and interesting number. It is a difficult song to describe as its style is different from anything I have heard before. It has undertones in places that sound like a snake charmer’s melody, played out on guitar. There are several guitar breaks showing Robin’s dexterity, pardon the pun, but the song is painfully catchy and closes with that oriental mystical guitar break, taking me to somewhere in Persia.
Next up is a new track ‘Lonesome Daze’; a catchy song with hints of late seventies pop blended in between the melody and a very powerful chorus, with very intricate harmonies; the sort you walk around humming all day.
‘Catarina’ comes next and rocks with a heavy guitar riff chugging through the track, forming a great backbone for a very pretty song. Robin really does know how to write catchy tunes. For those in the know, Robin was inspired when writing this song by the rhythmic sounds of the Spanish bird song heard from his studio terrace and Robin is joined on this by Mel Collins with his sax solo influenced by the aforementioned avian sounds.
‘Pride’ starts with a great rhythm guitar break and then you’re straight into the song, which after a few verses again sees Robin firing off his guitar, then ‘Cocoon’ is one of those clever songs that draws you in; henpecking your brain into submission, and has some very interesting lyrics.
‘The Rubicon’ is dynamically very different from the previous and very much a rocking song which reminds me Andy Taylor, yet less commercial, anyway, it will surely get those toes tapping.
‘The American Way’ show more variation on the album with its poppy rhythm and sweet chorus, and of course ‘Bluesong’ has a bluesy heart yet with that typical Robin George melodic wrapper.
Closer ‘Oxygen’ is yet another very different song, and a highlight. Its suave guitar phrasing and the highly melodic vocals by George fall into an excellent chorus.
“Painful Kiss” successfully conjures Robin George’s pedigree, a musician who made his name with technical Rock&pop and cemented his reputation through a string of hard rock alliances, baring his soul and revealing his blues heart.
As Robin himself says of this wonderful collection: “Painful Kiss means a lot to me. These are my versions of my songs which have been covered by many artists… I asked myself, why not let people hear my rockier versions that made them want to record the songs in the first place?”
The results proving across the twelve tracks presented here that it was a question well worth asking, and more importantly, well worth answering. Therefore it’s no surprise that ‘Painful Kiss’ is a revealing, honest album positively dripping with passion and authenticity.
01 – Painful Kiss
02 – Lonesome Daze
03 – Catarina
04 – The Rubicon
05 – Cocoon
06 – Pride
07 – The American Way
08 – Bluesong
09 – Love Power and Peace
10 – World
11 – Heaven
12 – Oxygen
Robin George – guitars, vocals
Charlie Morgan (Elton John) – drums
Charley Charlesworth – bass
Pete Haycock (The Climax Blues Band) – guitar
Mel Collins (King Crimson) – saxophone
Jacquie Williams (Sister Sledge) – backing vocals