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ROBIN McAULEY / BUSINESS AS USUAL
LABEL: ZAIN RECORDS ZACB-1010
OVERALL: 80%
Produced by: Curt Cuomo & Frankie Sullivan
  1. One Way Ticket
  2. Easy On Me
  3. When The Rain Came
  4. Every Little Thing
  5. In The Groove
  6. Bad Times
  7. Time Will Dry Your Tears
  8. Glass Houses
  9. Let Me Go
  10. I Was Gonna Be The One
  11. Where Will You Go
Oh how sweet it is to hear the vocal chords of Robim McAuley strike again. Even if they guy is straining his voice by singing in a more attacking sort of way.
I suggest that the playing/production/songwriting duo of Curt Cuomo and Survivor's Frankie Sullivan were talking over old times while recording the recent Eddie Money album.
I think the conversation would have gone along the lines of Curt: 'Why the hell didn't that band project we did with Robin McAuley in 1993 ever get off the ground?'
Frankie: 'Bugger Knows'...
So with a new mission to get the album finally released, they guys had the album remastered and readied and low and behold here it is, under the guise of a McAuley solo album. That still might change for territories outside Japan. Who knows.
But to the album itself. This is a must for any fan of Robin and especially those who hold in high regard his work with Michael Schenker for several years under the McAuley Schenker Group. Wonderful stuff that was.
This album may not quite touch the highs of the
Perfect Timing or Save Yourself records, but for me it sure beats the hell out of the final studio album the guys did - the MSG album. (BTW - The last time Robin was heard from!)
As I stated earlier, Robin is screaming a little more on this, but he still can carry a tune as displayed on the softer side of the album.
As for the rest of the instrumentation, there are no worries there! As on Eddie Money's Ready Eddie album, Curt and Frankie provide some fabulous backing, with the guitar work on this album even heavier and more solo filled than Eddie's rocking comeback.
I am sure Frankie can play live, but as for studio work, this is the heaviest I have ever heard him play.
There are a couple of fillers on the album - the first two tracks being the main culprits. Even though it's a ballad, start the album at track 3.
One Way Ticket is not the best choice of an opening track. It's OK, but not one of the album's highlights. You notice the change in Robin's voice straight away. This is one of the more screamy tracks. It's a pretty straight forward hard rocker.
Easy On Me features a swinging guitar intro and then a dual vocal. The track is heavy, but a little bluesy too. The chorus is unfortunately quite forgettable.
When The Rain Came is the first of a few ballads. This sees the almost return of Robin's best vocals from the MSG days. A good strong and emotional power ballad. The song reminds me a little of MSG's Never Ending Nightmare.
There is also a stack of guitar soloing underneath the vocals and some solid backing vocals also.
Now this would have been a better opening track! What a barnstorming rocker. Every Little Thing has got everything I love in a big rock track. A big guitar hook, huge vocals and a completely over the top anthem chorus. Typical late 80's American FM radio feed. Wonderful!
Just as things get rocking, In The Groove doesn't quite do things justice. Not a bad track, but your more standard swaggering, grove laiden rock track.
Bad Times is more interesting. More laid back, it features both electric and acoustic guitars and a more restrained vocal. A little bluesy also.
Time Will Dry Your Tears is another ballad. This is just as good as the first, but in a different style. This time it's an acoustic ballad and for that reason it follows on from Bad Times quite nicely. This track is a big sing along style ballad in the To Be With You and More Than Words vein. Robin's voice is in top order.
Glass Houses takes up where Every Little Thing left off. Another killer uptempo rocker with a screaming chorus.
Let Me Go is the third ballad of the album. I love the guitar intro to this. A mix of MSG & Survivor. It starts slow but builds to true rock heaven quality with a big AOR anthem chorus before heading back down to earth. One of the best tracks of the album that features some smoking guitar work. Killer vocals.
I Was Gonna Be The One smolders along with some more blues laced guitar until a big chorus rises on the strength of Robin's vocals. That alone makes the tune worthwhile.
Where Will You Go finishes the album off with a big traditional 80s hard rock ballad. A big ballad in every sense of the meaning and finishes the album nicely.
Georg Siegl at AOR Heaven likened it to Cinderella in their Night Songs era. Not far from the mark actually, especially with Robin's vocals somewhat more pressed than the MSG style we know.
BOTTOM LINE: A pretty good rock album that hasn't suffered any for the 6 years it sat in a vault. McAuley fans will get a real kick out if this.....
PRODUCTION: 85%SONGS: 73%VIBE: 77%ATTITUDE: 78%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Robin McAuley fans, Frankie Sulivan/Curt Cumo fans and MSG fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Perfect Timing . Save Yourself . M.S.G . Unplugged Live



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