Life In Digital were formed in 2016 by John Beagley and Robin Schell, and this is their second album together. Doing some research, it appears that Robin Schell was in the running to become singer for Yes at one point in the late Eighties, and if that is true it wouldn’t have surprised me as she is very similar in some way to Jon Anderson: I actually thought it was probably Jon Davison singing until I looked at the press release. I don’t know who played what on the album, but the result is something which is very synth-driven, and when the band say the album is inspired by 80’s Yes together with Buggles, I couldn’t have put it much better myself, although probably more to the latter than the former. The vocals are great, and the songs interesting, but there really is too much in the way of synthesisers, and the lack of proper drums is a real issue here. I would like to see these guys morph away from being just a duo and become more of a full band with less reliance on studio overdubbing and layering, using more real instruments.
I have seen some absolutely rave reviews for this album online, but for me this is interesting and enjoyable without ever stepping up to the next level. I enjoyed it, and I am sure any fans of the two aforementioned bands will get something from it, but there is not enough depth and solidity within this for me to say anything more positive about it. There are some string guitar lines and solos here and there, but not enough to be consistently powerful and driving. I haven’t heard the debut so don’t know if there has been any change between the two, but it will be interesting to see what the next one is like and if they have moved on, as then it could be very good indeed.
6/10 Kev Rowland