A master guitarist reaching out for his address book and for the listeners’ hearts – in the memory of "the good and the gifted we lost too soon" and for the tragedy not to strike again.
You can’t blame Robin George for his desire to play safe after two of his promising endeavors have been thwarted by ailing singers, David Byron and Phil Lynott who chose substances-fuelled deaths over life. Both are present here, on the guitarist’s star-studded project from which all profits fuel three British charities -- all in the name of life.
There’s Lynott’s spirit in the LOVEPOWER BAND’s take on his Elvis’ tribute "King’s Call", in George’s hands a moving, acoustically framed lament for THIN LIZZY’s singer himself, while Byron’s own voice carries another twilit ballad, "Tired Eyes". That highlights the leader’s MO: a careful use of existing tracks for additions and overdubs. Yet it never sounds like a recycling, as DIAMOND HEAD’s Sean Harris breathes fire in LIFE’s "Cocoon" and Jacqui Williams’ voice completely transforms old chestnut "Seven Golden Daffodils", rough in DAMAGE CONTROL’s version and totally transcendental now. One of the latter group’s recordings, "Alice", forms a part of the bonus section of the CD, "Friends of LovePower" alongside gems from Robin’s archives featuring, among others, more URIAH HEEP’s members, Pete Goalby and John Wetton, but the bulk of it rides on the back of new songs.
It starts with a title cut which grows from an acoustic roll into a gospel hot-air balloon soaring on Ruby Turner and Jaki Graham’s soulful belting and floating with Mel Collins’ sax, Ken Hensley’s Hammond and a mighty choir. The same package lies in the foundation of the grooving, slide-smoothed "World" where Arthur Brown joins the "Emmerdale" actress Freya Copeland Vix and Robin George at the idiosyncratic mic. And, of course, there’s his shining guitar in the center of it all, but the veteran’s only happy to share the spotlight even in these stakes, so "Bluesong" cradles Steve Hunter’s solo. What with the seriousness of it all, "Pride" is a jolting slab of funk to shake up one’s mood, and "Another Lonely Light" harks innocently back to the early ’60s. Perhaps, "With A Little Help From My Friends" seems a bit hammy as a closer to the main part of the for more veterans – from MOTORHEAD, MOTT THE HOOPLE and more - and, in the end, it is what it does when an artist calls for the indifferent kindred spirits to get there for the right reasons. Listening is taking part in this one success of an endeavor.