Robin Trower

Beyond the Mist

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This mostly live release recorded at London's Marquee club in 1985 is a rather dull effort, since Trower plays only seven tracks with plenty of his best material absent from the set. Sounding slightly murky and muddled, the five live tracks are short on Trower's guitar playing flair, and since he's not the most animated musician to begin with, these songs have an even harder time holding the least bit of attention. Some redemption is established with his signature "Bridge of Sighs" at the end of the album, as Trower reveals his talents with a semi-spirited arrangement of his most famous piece. The two studio tracks at the beginning of the album aren't ear catchers either, with "The Last Time" coming out on top because of its steam engine rhythm. Even with a solid tandem of studio musicians like Martin Clapson behind the kit and Dave Bronze on bass and backing vocals, Robin Trower's usual array of manipulated feedback, bent and twisted guitar chords, and flashy fret bending is kept to a bare minimum. This time around, his instrumental meandering comes up short on guitar nutriment and the album is bettered by any of his '70s studio material.

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