Robin Stanley REVIEWS

COSMOLOGY

Greetings from Skopje, Macedonia. Enclosed is one of my recent radio playlists which include your excellent material. Looking forward to present more from you in the future! Regards, Vasja Ivanovski Mojo Alt Fridays 10PM-12PM 94.1 FM Radio 2 Skopje, Macedonia Producer & Host: Vasja Ivanovski

Robin Stanley is a talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who was a former member of the Canadian band Fun With Numbers. He writes and performs adult contemporary, easy listening songs about love and life. The sound is a throwback to the baby boomers pop era. -- D. Oscar Groomes O's Place Jazz Magazine P.O. Box 38430 Charlotte, NC 28278 http://www.OsPlaceJazz.com

Tres bon - Mike, W3 Blues Radio, France

A Prime example of fine music- Raymond, KRR-FM 94.5, Australia

Robin, Well done keep writing. Love track 12. Peace, Love and Empathy - Graham Mcleod, Black Diamond FM

A nice cd by ROBIN STANLEY. It is his third solo album. All songs are written by himself and mostly all instruments are played by him. A singer, a writer, a multi-instrumentalist. What a gifts……You can hear sounds like the Byrds, Beatles, but most for all, it is his own sound. A cd with different syles. Pop, country, folk, bluesy. An excellent cd to play in Popjablues, because you will hear all the time different syles of music in my program. Thank you Robin - Jan Nederveen, Radio 794, Netherlands

This sounds like a winner of a recording - Micah Engber, freelance producer and host, South Portland, Maine USA

Vancouver’s former Fun With Numbers member Robin Stanley – the “lost romantic” – returns with his third solo album ‘Cosmology’ which carries on with Stanley’s haunting ground topics of life and love. The multi-instrumentalist starts masterfully slow in singer-songwriter mode on “Hello Stranger” before opening up the valves and revealing a more power pop rooted music base on “Book of Love”, “Make Up Your Mind”, “Golden Gate”, “Strawberry Blonde” (with its Leonard Cohen affectations) and “Peace, Love and Empathy”. Parts Byrds, Beatles, Kinks and Nick Lowe, Stanley keeps the arrangements simple and the melodies catchy. The title track is full-blown 1972 “Ram”-era Paul McCartney. Conversely, he goes directly into a Lennon tribute with the “Working Class Hero” sequel “Working Class People” not to mention the Lennon-esque Bo Diddley fueled “Writing On The Wall”. The best track on the disc might possibly be “Life On Mars” that has a plaintiff feel with slide guitar and minor chord changes – a style tapped by bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, The Waterboys and Double back in the ‘80s. Stanley continues to explore all facets of pop and his observations on life, the universe and everything. ‘Cosmology’ should take him a step further in becoming well known in Canadian indie-pop circles. - Jaimie Vernon, bobsegarini.wordpress.com

When Robin Stanley returned to recording, he might as well have been starting over. So much had changed in the 30 years between his band, Fun With Numbers and his first album, Mad Kingdom. With his third, Cosmology, it’s evident that his devotion to simply stated and melodic pop-rock hasn’t changed in that time. His trick has been how to present this. As his own producer, he is getting closer, though he could be bolder. Stanley still uses Ray Davies of The Kinks as a template, which is an assurance of sorts of songs of character. This set is Stanley’s most consistent collection to date. - CD of the Week May 20, 2012, Tom Harrison, The Vancouver Province

Good job on your new release Robin. Another winner! - Don Campau, No Pigeonholes, doncampau.podmatic.com

CHRONIC EMPIRE

I enjoyed a great deal of the CD. I have aired track 9, "Chronic Empire" twice thus far and plan further airings, Saturday afternoons, over the next month. Malcolm MacLean CKHA Canoe FM, Haliburton Ontario, Canada

"A Heart Without A Home" is easily the outstanding cut and highly recommended.- Larry Newman, KGLT Community Radio, Bozeman, Montana

Chronic Empire, the sophmore album by Canadian pop rocker Robin Stanley, exemplifies indie pop at its finest. The album boasts artfully-crafted songs, strong performances, and sharp production. Stanley plays in a classic pop-rock style with a slightly rootsy flavor that is reminiscent of Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, and Tom Petty. On the album's opening track, "Once Upon a Time," Stanley sings a haunting melody over a bed of acoustic and electric guitars. "One Way Avenue" is a skillfully-sketched social vignette, reminiscent both lyrically and musically of the Kinks' "Dead End Street." "Angel of Mercy" is a beautiful pop ballad backed by reverbed guitar and accordian. Guitarist Ian Crew makes strong contributions throughout the album, including a fiery guitar solo on "Master of Disguise" and some bluesy slide playing on "Love's Made a Fool of Me." Best of all perhaps is 'Suburban Lawns," an absolutely wonderful pop song that should have been a huge hit. The album closer, "To the End," is another fantastic track, with an ultra-catchy melody and a brooding atmosphere. Chronic Empire finds Robin Stanley hitting his stride and really coming into his own as an artist. - Geoff Cabin, Rockbeat International.

Great Cd, recieved a lot of airplay and will in the future. Used in several programms on our station. Greetings, Harry Boerman Veluwe FM , Zutphen, Netherlands.

Just listened to your CD and really enjoyed it. Very good beats and lyrics. I particuarly enjoyed Once Upon A Time, Born Under a Bad Sign, Angel of Mercy and Love's Made a Fool of Me. - Michelle Bork, Red Radio, Loretto, Pennsylvania.

Since his return to making music - he was a skinny-tie new-wave power-popper before adult responsibility got in the way - Robin Stanley has made two albums, of which Chronic Empire is the more assured. Not that Mad Kingdom was bad. It was more of a toe-dipped-in-the-water affair that took Stanley's measure as a songwriter. Satisfied that he had the goods, he jumped into the deep end. The result is more focused. He still shows his influences (Tom Petty, Ray Davies) but not to his detriment. With the title track, Stanley shows he's stripping his songs down to what is essential. -Tom Harrison, Vancouver Province.

Great CD, getting airplay in current and forth comming programmes, keep me updated on any further releases Kind regards Martin Smith, Radio Seagull, Rainham UK.

Great work on this disc full of great song's.It's one to be proud of. Thank's, George Young, Country Club Productions Pty Ltd - Prospect, Australia.

This CD is a plus in your collection. We really like it here on The Upper Room Radio Show. For all music lovers, no excuse to not have this CD right now on your CD player. Like us, you will just love it. Gi Dussault Co-Host & Co-Producer Upper Room Radio Show www.upperroomwithjoekelley.com www.myspace.com/upperroomwithjoekelley - Bridgeport, Connecticut USA.

Thank you very much for your promo. It was a good gain for our archives. We introduced your promo CD with your history and announced your internet details at Radyo SDU and planning to introduce on a new program at national radio TRT. Thank you again and may it be easy and good luck… Murat Kasap Radyo SDU, Turkiye http://radyotv.sdu.edu.tr radyotv@sdu.edu.tr - Isparta, Turkey.

Robin at last returns with another thought-provoking yet ultimately uplifting collection of ruminations upon home, heart, and matters even further and deeper reaching. Now, unlike the majority of his contemporaries, here is a man, and a songwriter, with a keen eye for detail and an ear set to make some sort of sonic logic from all around him, and me, and you. In other words, this is one disc that proudly wears its lyrics right there on its inner sleeve. Then musically too, each track sports a gaunt sophistication in both arrangement and performance (Born Under a Bad Sign in particular). A Heart Without a Home effortlessly drags Blood On The Tracks Dylan clean into chronic REM fields, Love's Made a Fool of Me similarly declouds the often foggy Daniel Lanois approach, and you'll find Robin's Suburban Lawns spread happily beneath their fondest Waterloo sunset. Elsewhere, Lyndon Toftager's accordion adds a perfectly sorrowful world-weariness to Angel Of Mercy, and also bringing much to the mix is lead guitarist Ian Crew, whose Best Mistake solo cuts just like a Mick Taylor of old. But always atop it all, Robin's vocals are extremely assured and biting in their sincerity, necessary indeed when singing of Waiting For The World To End in frightful John Fogerty fashion, for one. Indeed, this is a collection of songs that may require repeated close listens before fully revealing their close-knit weave of lyrical and musical sophistication, but Robin always was a novel as opposed to comic book sorta guy. And we could certainly use a few thousand more just like him right about now, right? Just tell 'em Gary Pig Gold said so - Gary Pig, Pigshit 2008, Ballbustermusic.com.

Many Sincere Thanks for the CD" Chronic Empire " that you sent us recently. We have enjoyed it immensly, and have added tracks from it to our playlists. Your presentation of music, inside the style and personality reflected in the tracks is very refreshing. Keep it up. Many thanks again, and please stay in touch. Kind regards Graham J Barclay graham@soundwavefm.co.nz ( Broadcasting Since Oct 3rd 1977 ) Napier, New Zealand.

What a great sound you have, we have played several of your tracks to date and plan to schedule more in future programs. Keep up the good work and please keep us up to date with your progress.- Michael Criddle OzRadio (President Radio Triple H-FM) ozradio@ozisp.com.au - Horsham, Australia.

Great Album, great cover!!! - Paul van Kuik Radio 0162 Netherlands

“Chronic Empire,” the latest CD from Robin Stanley, is a collection of guitar-driven pop/classic rock tunes! Kicking off with the unforgettable “Once Upon a Time,” one cannot help but notice Robin’s robust vocal appeal. Masterful instrumentation is added to the list of accolades for “Chronic Empire,” especially the impressive guitar work throughout the CD, including the leads of “Born Under a Bad Sign” and "Best Mistake," the melodic electric guitar line of "Suburban Lawns," and the acoustic guitar work on numerous tracks. The cornerstone of the CD is Robin's songwriting: Tracks such as “One Way Avenue” "Suburban Lawns" and "Best Mistake" show off Robin’s keen sense for catchy choruses and relevant, well-crafted, and clever lyrics. Best of all, this CD is produced with clarity and skill. Die-hards of Beatles-reminiscent pop and Tom Petty-infused classic rock won’t be able to turn this one off! If you like Tom Petty, you'll love this CD.
author: Xavier P. for RadioIndy.

 

MAD KINGDOM

What a bunch of great songs! The opener, "Hurts," could have been growled by Mark Lindsay on Paul Revere and the Raiders" Spirit of 67, which for those who don't know is a pretty terrific album. In fact, most of the 11 mid-tempo songs on this CD had me thinking of other acts from the 60's, from the Turtles to the Bee Gees. "Mr Bluebird," has so much Village Green in it that you would swear you were listening to an outtake they left off the great new three-disc reissue of that great Kinks album. These are some fine songs that anyone would kill to write. "King of Nothing," "Keys to the Kingdom," hell, the whole lot of them are marvelous. I can't recommend the songs on this album enough. (John Auker, Rock Beat International)

From Vancouver, Canada, originates Robin Stanley. Singer/Songwriter in typical Underground Pop or also power Pop tradition. However one should not take the word so exactly here "Power." It is more the strength of the Songwritings. Great Songwritings, in order to say it exactly. The arrangements are relatively simple. Here a 12-saitige Rickenbacker, there a harmonica. Of whom only does this easily nasale singing remind? Dave Davies? could be. With Gary Pig gold is Robin by the way for years friendly. Accordingly its Songs emerged also again and again in connection with Garys Compilations as Unsound or Burnt Marshmallows & Teeny Bikinis. Here there is 11 Songs, which stretch an elbow in scarcely 40 minutes taking up by Hurts, which let You've Got ton of Hide Your Love Away think of John Lennons, over Tomorrow Never Knows (no, not John Lennon), acoustic Folkpop, Forever Is A Long Time, the guitar reef by La Poupée Qui Fait Non and at the same time Tom Petty quoting, Trouble With Love simply and effectively, up to more Forever in Your Debt, a melancholischen Folksong, , which ends nevertheless troestlich. * * * *
(Mike Korbik, Twang)

Stanley has a brief, interrupted history as a pop-rock enthusiast that goes back to the skinny-ties days. He has returned to music with his influences assimilated and the primary goal of making music for himself. Gone, then, are delusions, replaced by a simple goal of writing sturdy songs, which is what Mad Kingdom collects. Songs such as "Hurts" or "Mr Bluebird" or "Forever Is a Long Time" spill over with insistent melody. ***/5
(Tom Harrison, Vancouver Province)

Like many of us "older" guys who've been in this music game for a long time, Robin Stanley is a singer-songwriter and musician who has mostly exchanged his late nights playing in bars for a family life and a "real" job, but for whom the muse still burns brightly, and who has an extensive backlog of good songs just crying out to be finally made into an album. That album is here at last, and it's called "Mad Kingdom." Back in the 80's our very own Gary Pig Gold, who was living in Vancouver at the time, actually played bass for Robin in his band, Fun With Numbers. Like Gary, Robin has a real love for the pop music of the 60's, and that influence comes through strongly in his music. Some of these tunes would have fit quite comfortably alongside any of the British Invasion and rock hits of the mid-60's. "Mad Kingdom" is a straightforward, honest album, tastefully laid back and understated. Touches of Rickenbacker 12-string guitar and organ shine through on several tracks. Robin played nearly all the instruments except for the drums. (Marty Murray the NAIL)

Who the hell is Robin Stanley?Maybe he`s a little famous in Canada, even in US, but abroad, in Europe, his name doesn`t ring a bell. The only way to find out is to slide the CD, that I found in my mailbox this morning, in my CD player, sit down and listen.Listening to his lyrics the conclusion must be that Robin is a very romantic person, I can imagine that he`s sitting under a window, singing for the girl he adores, he believes in love but he ain`t always that lucky as he wants to be, sometimes she let him down.For sure is that the man has the right skills to be a song smith, he writes like a poet, sings with the right feeling in a smooth way. Happily the album is not, like much music nowadays, over-produced, it`s recorded by a musician. The songs are packaged in arrangements that give all the credits to the lyrics, this albums is an ideal messenger when you sit at an open fire, with a good glass of wine or so and a beautiful girl besides you, because it creates an atmosphere for dreaming and loving. Even with no girl around it`s a pleasure to listen to Robin Stanley. Is there nothing to criticize, oh yes there is, when Il associate the title Mad Kingdom with the mad world we live in, than the lyrics misses the sharp edge.One thing is for sure, this isn` t the last time I spin that record, it`s too good to put it aside.
(Henny de Pater, Radio Fendert, the Netherlands)


It is especially ear-warming for me to finally be able to invite you all into that deep, sonic jungle which is the one and only Robin Stanley's mad, magical musical kingdom. Yes, a wondrous land where heroes carry hearts which may actually sometimes hurt, villains fuss and stew in their respective states of confusion, yet where bluebirds fly o'er every rainbow and each wayward angel always finds its way back home. Eventually. Precisely the kind of octave-bounding optimism which may no longer fuel the virtual Top Forties of this cranky old world, I'll have to admit, but which in the hands of a lovingly mad curator such as Robin can unapologetically fill us all with endless seasons of sunny listening to come. I can attest before every one of you out there that a man like Robin, not to mention a true blue muse such as his, really do not bop down the pike nearly often enough anymore.
(Gary Pig Gold, Music Business Monthly)

Robin Stanley -- Mad Kingdom (Creative Artists): This is acoustic guitar pop , and it's instantly likeable. Some of the songs have a Byrdsy/Dylanesque hue, underplayed just a tad, which would not work without sufficiently strong melodies. Thankfully, Stanley has that covered, on gems like "King of Nothing" and "Forever is A Long Time" (though he sings that it's actually a "long, long time", which is a tad more accurate). The best of this lot is "Trouble With Love", which has some nifty lead guitar work to augment it's nice ‘60s rock jangle. In the credits, Stanley thanks former Cheepskates member Shane Faubert and Dave Rave. In some respects, Stanley's music shares something with Faubert's tender folk-pop and Rave's traditionally rooted power pop, kind of splitting those styles down the middle. A good example of this is the piano piece "Wayward Angel", which also has a hint of John Lennon in ballad mode. On "Does Your Heart Still Belong to Me", Stanley is tender and romantic -- the song has roots in ‘50s rock and roll (Buddy Holly/Roy Orbison) -- it's interesting how the music that sounded so good for teenage laments, sounds just as good once you grow up -- there's an interesting blend of innocence in the music with the experience that you can hear in Stanley's voice. When it comes to love, everyone ends up like a teenager at one point or another I suppose. This is a friendly, relaxed listen, perfect for a mellow rock and roll mood. Mike Bennett, Capsule Reviews, Fufkin.com


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