Album Spotlight: Joe Robinson’s 'Undertones'
Shelve the John Mayer comparisons. This Australian virtuoso establishes his voice and makes the best album of his career.
Australian virtuoso Joe Robinson has firmly established himself as a top-tier Nashville picker, and his new album proves he’s far more than a flashy prodigy. The comparisons to John Mayer are inevitable: catchy songs, soulful vocals, and virtuosic playing. However, Robinson’s ethos outshines whatever category iTunes or Spotify might put him in. He can move easily from straight-up Chet Atkins-style stomp (“Let the Guitar Do the Talkin’”) to infectious pop-rock (“Reputation”) easier than most of us change strings.
Robinson’s songwriting has always revolved around interesting harmonies and impeccably crisp lead playing. His deft, melodic lines on “Mindless” have a focus that will make you want to break out the metronome and get your syncopation together. Robinson has developed into an artist with a fully formed vision of who he is and where he wants to go. It makes me look forward to the album he makes 10 years from now.
Must-hear tracks: “Mindless,” “Reputation,” “Undertone”