Lizard on a Rock
"Lizard On A Rock" is the debut release from Robert James, a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Vancouver, Canada. Released in July of 2000, this disc offers something for everyone. Combining hard-hitting rockers and heartfelt ballads to all out mayhem, this disc screams to be heard in an open car. Never mind the destination, it's hot out and the week is long. You can see Fire Mountain in the distance and you realize you're almost there...wherever 'there' is. This seven-song CD opens with the driving "Lizard On A Rock", which oddly enough was the last song written for the project. It features the guest vocals of Rose Reiter, and once it was added to the project, Robert knew he had the name for his first CD. "Happenstance At Fire Mountain", the short breezy interlude at the end of the track, was also an afterthought and was recorded using Robert's home studio equipment. "Save My Soul" rocks with full tilt conviction, due in part to the insightful lyrics that lend themselves to this song and the rest of the album in general. "Ride With Me" is achingly beautiful with it's shimmering guitars and after-hours mystique. You can almost hear the surf and smell the sea air. All of a sudden, you're playing for all the marbles. "You Tear Me" takes us somewhere else with it's relentless riff and driving rhythm until we're deep in uncharted waters. Surprisingly enough, this is also new territory for Robert as he handles all the guitar chores on this particular track. "Diary" has been in Robert's repertoire since 1983 but was always played in a decidedly acoustic setting. The intricate acoustic guitar patterns mesh well with the string section and to see this song performed live with Robert on a nearly blackened stage telling his stark tale is not to be missed. The last two compositions, "Through My Eyes" and "Master Of The Zoo" were originally released in 1992 as part of a CD compilation. Of the six acts featured on the disc, Robert is the only artist still actively performing. "Through My Eyes" features Kirsten Nash on saxophone and Marty Kinack on lead guitar. At times it's difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. The disc comes to a close with the frenetic "Master Of The Zoo", a song that becomes more relevant day by day as a desperate call to save our planet.