When producer Robin George steps out from the booth, straps on a guitar, and steps up to the mike, you know you're in for some serious rocking. And Cocoon, the one and only album by his 1990s band Life, does not disappoint. George and former Diamond Head vocalist Nick Tart schemed Life in the mid-'90s, recording an album that was slick, balls-out, and commercial in a very, very good way -- glam-tinged metal colliding with straight-ahead hard rock, then tempered with a classic sound. It is also very much a primer to George's long career, dipping into the vast canon of songs he had written in the past, and allowing Tart to add his own imprimatur to the best of them. So if any of the titles here seem familiar -- from a Robert Plant album, maybe, or Glenn Hughes or Ruby Turner -- that's why. But the déjà vu ends there. Tart's so-distinctive vocals allow each track to take on a whole new life, while George is at his searing best throughout. Originally released, and promptly lost again, in 1997, the original album was fully remastered in 2010, packed with bonus tracks, and sent out once more. This time, it shouldn't get away.
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