Robin Beck - Underneath (Cargo Records)

Beck to the future!
Release Date: 
15 Aug 2013 (All day)

Robin Beck, whether she likes it or not, will be forever remembered as the SUGARY voice behind late eighties Coke advert anthem First Time. This is nothin’ short of a tragedy, since that’s one of the least impressive songs she’s ever put her name to. Still, a number one is a number one, right? And she probably wouldn’t be able to make corking records like Underneath at the age of (wait for it…) fifty nine if it wasn’t for the First Time

Anyways, Underneath is, not to put too fine a point on it, UNBELIEVABLE!!!. Opening up with a truly titanic brace of hard rock anthems in the shape of the fantastic Wrecking Ball and Ain’t That Just Like Love (which incredibly sounds like the sort of thing Shania Twain might record if she was a rocker and not a shit kicker), Ms Beck nails her colours to the mast in unmistakeable fashion. In fine voice throughout, whether it be on old-time hard rock, or more modern numbers like Sprain (which wouldn’t be out of place on a Kelly Clarkson album, and I don’t mean that in a bad way) she really puts most of the opposition to flight on this album. Class, class and more class is the name of the game here, and if you love ‘proper’ hard rock from the old school then you’ll love this record.

Worried that I haven’t mentioned any BALLADS yet? Well, try the excellent title track, which depite it’s bargain basement production values is something of a jewel of the genre. Casio orchestration can’t hide the power of the Beck pipes, and she emotes in truly tear-jerking style. But it ain’t all wallowing in the slough of despond; Catfight is a fun rocker that once again conjours up images of the blessed Shania, whilst Check Your Attitude is dripping with, um, attitude in a late nineties punky kinda way. In fact if there’s one slight weakness here it’s this flitting between styles, not all of which would appear to suit a lady of mature years. However they are all sung with conviction but if I’m honest it’s the straight-up rockers and ballads that twang my particular heartstrings…

Did I say ballads? Here’s a BELTER in the form of Burnin’ Me Down. A real, lighters-in-the-air winner, it’s another song with a slight country tinge (it’s a duet for a start with Mr Beck – better known as House of Lords throat supreme James Christian – weighing in for the male vocal part), but don’t let that stop you jumping right in to this gorgeous song.

In fact, just stop reading what I’m writing and leg it out to your nearest record-selling EMPORIUM now! Like I said, if hard rockin’ balladic mayhem is where you dwell musically then you need this record in your life immediately!