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Robertson Brothers - 2003 Here



ARTIST: Robertson Bros
ALBUM: Here
LABEL: Transistor Music
SERIAL: CCBK 7048B
YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Ben Robertson, Geoff Robertson, Stuart Robertson - vocals * Serg Dimitrigevic, Peter Northcote, Clive Lendich - guitars * Sam Dixon - bass * Adam Reilly - programming * Michael Felix D'Arcy - programming

TRACK LISTING: 01 Over The Mountains * 02 All I Want Is You * 03 Call Me Back * 04 I Believe (In Love) * 05 That's When I'll Stop Missing You * 06 Where Would I Be * 07 Here * 08 All My Life * 09 If I Give You My Heart * 10 It Ain't Over * 11 Ain't Gonna Cry Again * 12 The Last Love Song * 13 Can't Cry Hard Enough * 14 Imagine * 15 Over The Mountains (Satellite Mix) * 15 Over The Mountains (Satellite Mix) * 16 www.robertsonbrothers.com.au (jingle)

WEBLINKS: www.robertsonbrothers.com.au


Background
Well, it doesn't get wimpier than this! Australia's resurrected answer to the Bee Gees perhaps? A cheap shot maybe, but the trio of brothers have their sights firmly set on the pop charts with this album called 'Here' by the looks of things. For fans of their 1994 'Symmetry' album, you will be disappointed that the chemistry evident on that platter is missing on this latest one. If you wanna comparision, how about ample doses of Savage Garden meeting Westlife? Even Air Supply or Michael Learns To Rock don't get this wimpy! The suspicion being that the Robertson Brothers are zeroing in on the vacant title-belt left behind by Savage Garden, a title-belt strangely defaulted on by the highly promising but totally mis-managed Melbourne band Invertigo. It also seems that outside writers have had a major hand in precedings, contributing to 12 of the 16 tracks on offer. That's far too many in my book. A case of too many cooks in the Robertson musical kitchen? Personally I wish they'd left the boys alone to do their own thing. Unfortunately, most of the tunes are 'pop' patter, very little in the way of interest value to those pursuing harder genres of rock music. Even their closest musical comparison previously, the understated but undeniably talented Rick Price is nowhere in sight, despite the fact he provides two co-writes. The heavily programmed feel to the music confines this album to the vagaries of commercial pop, prevalent on the charts right now. Good on them for giving it a blast, and I'm sure back home in Aussie they'll be virtual superstars because of it.


The Songs
Surely there must be some highlights among the tracks on offer? Yes, but only a handful, and unfortunately it washes over like a sacharin induced facecloth. To start out with a ballad 'Over the Mountains' is hardly an inspiring move, not exactly an attention grabber, more like a Westlife afterthought! As is the first of the Rick Price selections 'All I Want Is You'. This is paint-by-numbers pop contributed by people who should know better! Narada Michael Walden for instance contributes a weak ballad in 'If I Give You My Heart'. Ah no thanks. You can keep it! Helping to improve matters are the catchy choruses of 'Where Would I Be' and 'I Believe In Love', but hey, where are the electric guitars?? On the plus side - Go West's Peter Cox wrote 'Ain't Gonna Cry Again', a much better effort but still with an inclination to hit the fast forward button. The Rick Price co-write 'The Last Love Song' is delicious. Wimpy admittedly, and a soaring guitar solo would have simply made this track a winner.. however there is none. A case of what might have been. The 4 bonus tracks are good though. A reprise of 'Can't Cry Hard Enough' from 'Symmetry' is here, not a touch on the original, but good to hear again. Even the reworking of Lennon's 'Imagine' is interesting. An atmospheric approach taken, with keyboard layers, a simple piano/acoustic guitar overlay, and of course those trademark harmonies. An upbeat radio edit of 'Over The Mountains' is added, reminding us of Cher's upbeat hit single 'Believe' from a few years ago. This version is much better than the opening cut. The final track, 'www.robertsonbrothers.com.au' sounds more like a short snippet radio jingle, and I suspect it is. Strange, but effective!


In Summary
I did have high hopes and expectations for this, but no. In summary, 'Here' is not 'Symmetry' Part 2, not even remotely close. It could be the phantom third Savage Garden album, as the vocal comparison is similar, but ultimately, the album is too poppy to even compare to that. Considering where these guys have come from, I'd have to say from a personal perspective, that 'Here' is an unfulfilling collection, despite there being 16 tracks. The absence of a guitar solo even more noticeable than Metallica's 'St Anger' album!


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