Local Veteran Musician Robert Miller Releases Second Solo LP
Miller Rocks is the title of Robert Miller’s second outing as a solo act as much as it is also a declarative statement of the talent encased within the artist behind the album. Robert Miller does indeed rock, and naysayers will more than find themselves swayed by the end of the ten songs proudly put on display within this LP. Sharp-eared and well-versed audience members might know Miller from the prominent music group Project Grand Slam, but for those not aware, Project Grand Slam is a musical supergroup of sorts featuring artists from around the world that Miller fronts both as a performer and composer. The group is responsible for almost a dozen albums since forming in 2007, and within the past year, Miller has branched off to pursue side projects (yes, plural – the man doesn’t stop) under his name.
Miller Rocks sees Robert Miller doubling down on the sentiments quite literally put on the record with his debut solo release, Summer of Love, and furthering his inward journey by perfecting the definitive sound he owns that fans have come to love. The album reaches familiar genres within Miller’s favorite homages to the 1960s British Invasion and jazz, but finding a release under Miller’s name and not a group purely strengthens the core themes that Miller Rocks wears on its sleeve. This is a personal statement in response to a year spent indoors, and it succeeds at bridging together Miller’s solo stance as well as Project Grand Slam’s discography.
The grand flourishes of throwback oldies rock meshed with jazz and Latin influences make Miller Rocks a fantastic musical journey. Familiar beats are played with unfamiliar patterns, unfamiliar beats are made at home beneath Miller’s crooning voice with the aid of his soulful lyricism. The general concept across this record and prior records featuring Robert Miller remains the same at the core – the man is so deeply in his element and at home in the studio, it’s no wonder his release rate to success rate is so high. At this point in his musical journey, it’s evident Miller is just sharpening his tools and perfecting his craft; Miller Rocks is a great extension of such a practice, a more than welcome notch in Miller’s daunting tally of projects under his belt.
Standouts on the project include “African Nights (For Chick)” and album closer “Labor Day,” with the former exhibiting masterclass instrumental work while the latter is an extremely pleasant song made all the more substantial with its lyric work. Listeners will surely have their favorites with a tracklist as dense as Miller Rocks’, and the overall flair the album dons for its runtime never stoops into unlikable territory. Every song is enjoyable and perfectly maintains its composure within the scope of the album, with not a single track overstaying its welcome. This remarkable fact feels less shocking if a listener is willing to put time into researching the man behind the music, but Robert Miller novices and experts alike should be across the board in agreement: Miller Rocks is a substantial achievement and a significant piece within the ever-expanding oeuvre of composition icon Robert Miller.