Robin Beck – “Love Is Coming” (Frontiers Records)
Every now and then an album comes along that simply blows you away. Maybe not for its heaviness, nor its speed, let alone evilness but instead its soul carrying majesty. As remarkable as it sounds, this week’s award has to go to legendary AOR starlet Robin Beck. The US equivalent to Bonnie Tyler when she rocks, but equally comparable to Heart’s Anne Wilson in her power ballads while being as tender as Celine Dion, Beck is a top name in her own right, having begun her career as a backing singer for Chaka Khan and Leo Sayer. It didn’t take long before she hit Broadway and was recording Coke commercials and soon collaborating with Steve Lukather (Toto), Paul Stanley (KISS), Journey’s Jonathan Cain, Michael Bolton and Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow – to only mention a few over the years!! Now aged 62, Beck has returned to small scale touring once again, which is impressive in itself, but more importantly this utterly amazing album proves that she still has it in bunches that would put many to shame. Honestly, there are so many hits on “Love Is Coming” that it is one of these releases that you can simply put on and enjoy from start to finish. Collaborating with the award winning team of Clif Magness (Steve Perry, Avril Lavigne) who plays all the instruments and husband producer James Christian (House Of Lords), Beck doesn’t just show her veteran professional prowess on the 12 tracks here, but equally, lots of class. From the kick ass stadium rock of ‘Girl Like Me’ with its wild, swanky guitars to the impassioned power rock of ‘In These Eyes’, Beck shows the versatility of her voice that goes well beyond its musical capability to truly reach into your heart and touch your emotions. Equally, on ‘Love Is Coming’ she adds a bit of tease into this rocker that while being sassy with its funky guitar, never stoops into sleaze while ‘Lost’ is nothing short of an all out rocker with of course, an amazingly catchy chorus. Mixing the power with the emo is ‘Here I Am’ with its delicate piano and vocal contrasted by the heart shattering power of the melody while the sultry funk of ‘Me Just Being Me’ soon gives way to an irresistible guitar melody and another girlie rock singalong chorus. What soon becomes apparent listening to this amazing material is that Beck is not just a convincing star performer but equally learned from all these years of working with top names, be they musicians, composers or producers: surely all the ingredients needed for this 5 star release.