Robin Lane

Catbird Seat

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Catbird Seat Review

by Stewart Mason

After the breakup of the terrific but underrated Robin Lane and the Chartbusters, Boston-based singer/songwriter Robin Lane took the better part of a decade off to tend to her family, but returned with 1995's low-key Catbird Seat. The album sounds like the intervening 11 years had never happened, as Catbird Seat is as much a continuation of 1984's Heart Connection as that EP had been of 1981's Imitation Life. Lane's chiming folk-rock tunes and trademark mix of personal and social concerns are both in full flower, and her always-terrific voice has burnished into a rich and subtle instrument, kind of like Lucinda Williams without the twang. Highlights include "Wishing on Telstar," a song nearly as catchy as the Chartbusters' classic "When Things Go Wrong," and "Long Dark Tunnel," a hymn-like reworking of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," but there's not a duff track to be found. Waiting 11 years between albums does wonders for one's killer-to-filler ratio. Catbird Seat is a small, almost invisible record, but it's the finest work of Robin Lane's career.

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