There is no questioning Mel Robinson’s musical fortitude. Not only can you hear her orchestral input on You Am I’s recently released Dilettantes, the cellist also recently released an album of her own. Mr. Sister is a collaborative undertaking between Robinson and pianist Steve Richter. The duo typically craft immaculate, string-laden ditties fueled by piano and percussion. But, more importantly, they do it with charm and ingenuity. The album’s title track finds Robinson’s cello laying a platform for Richter’s piano parts and her own chaste vocals. At the other end of the instrumental spectrum, the pulsing strings of “Part Gold” collide with programming by Trilby Temperley in something of a musical uproar. While the lyrical hopelessness of Empty Places provides for a number of poetic songs, the album also features several instrumental numbers. “Ghost Eve” serves as jagged introduction to “The Edge,” while “Precious” is a chiming affirmation of reverence. Given her recent flurry of activity, Robinson knows better than anyone the importance of taking time out to feel the wind in your hair. Empty Places provides just such a gust.


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