ROBERT LANE – Homeworking (own label)

HomeworkingRobert Lane’s Homeworking is yet another example of the Spirit of Humanity finding someone willing to sing its songs.

My friend, Kilda Defnut, said of this record, “Fans of my beloved Big Star and Badfinger will love this music”.

I simply say, “Maybe I’m Amazed”, because this is a brilliant folk-pop-rock with a bit of everything else album.

The songs have a lovey Sir Paul McCarney flow: ‘Somewhere In The Dark’ pulses a delightful verse melody, with a throbbing bass, piano, strings, a pop-song perfect guitar solo, and an explosive chorus. The tune sets the template for the rest of the record. Then, the music hall piano of ‘Pass The Day’ reminds us all that Sir Paul had a dear dog named Martha once upon a White Album. This is just a nice rock ‘n’ roll tune. And ‘A Lover To A Friend’ is yet another piano-graced song about being “amazed” to the nth degree of love.

Ahh – The brief ‘Clean Echoes’ begins with an acoustic guitar, which gives way to an electric solo that cuts nice sonic grooves.

That interlude paves the way for more impressive music. ‘Sick Of Me’ is piano-voiced confessional stuff. It’s the hidden corner of this album. The introspection is followed by the absolutely wonderful folky ‘Listen In’, a song that builds in choral drama, yet delivers a quiet glen strummed infectious (almost) singalong joy. There’s more acoustic 60’s folk with ‘Kidding Myself’, which conjures the vibe of (the great) Phil Ochs. And there’s a welcome shimmering keyboard to grace the passion of the tune. Then, the bluesy ‘Your Baby’s Changed Her Mind’ whistles in that 60’s folk tradition.

Just so you know, the various allusions to The Beatles’ legacy are made as a sincere compliment. Good music is good music. And it’s just a suggestion, but Beatles fans should check out Fickle Pickle’s Sinful Skinful and The Aerovons’ Resurrection. Nice stuff all around!

Now, to be fair, RL certainly puts his individual spin on the classic folk-pop-rock with a bit of everything else music.

Case in point: ‘Wait So Long’ emerges from that Big Star/Badfinger chrysalis and delivers an acoustically plucked fully butterfly winged song that wobbles with deep electric guitar energy, and then it just flits out of its momentary melody into an autumnal memory. As said, sometimes the Spirit of Humanity finds someone willing to sing its lovely songs.

Ditto for ‘So Many Songs’ which stretches that pop template as a slow-paced ephemeral song with quiet backing and strident lead and backing vocals. It’s a nice change.

Ahh (again!) — The title song, ‘Homeworking’, is pure acoustic joy that echoes the weary wisdom of (the great) Bert Jansch. Wow!

And finally, ‘Christmas 2020’ is a brisk after thought with a humorous “yeah, yeah, yeah,” chorus that works as a really nice featherbed landing because, well sure, we all know that “Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl”, and (singularly speaking) “I want to tell that I love her a lot”; but we all, from time to time, just “gotta get a belly full of wine”, this time, to punctuate yet another album that is a brilliant concoction of folk-pop-rock music–with a bit of everything else mixed into the magic of these “Home worked” songs.

Bill Golembeski

Artist’s website (for purchase):

‘Somewhere In The Dark’ – official video: