Her third Luxotone release, THE APPLE IN MAN spotlights the shimmering, mystical overtones of Robin's trademark harmonic singing and frames them with her earthly pop sensibilities. The album is a transformational song cycle that soars through the alchemy and ever-changing beauty of Robin's musical universe.
From the genesis of "Day" to the wordless chanting of the closer "New Spring," Robin takes us on a trip through sin ("Apple"), friendship ("Bobby My Memory," "Julie"), and marriage and love ("Gold Chain," "Carry You") before crashing into a riveting a capella version of “Hangman” (usually known as “Gallows Pole”). The white-knuckle intensity of Robin’s version owes little to Odetta (whose version Robin first heard as a young girl) and even less to Led Zeppelin. Like a bleak yet gorgeous Icelandic landscape, Robin’s “Hangman” turns emotional lead into musical gold as the album begins to bathe us with intriguing signs, symbols, and portents ("Little Bird"), with dreams and stories ("Hand in the Window," "Traveller")—all of which point to another, hidden world that waits patiently for us. "My home is there," Robin sings in "October."
THE APPLE IN MAN meets the ambitious emotional goals it sets for itself—combining the indie, acoustic vibe of her luxotone debut EP FORE, and the meticulous songcraft of EYE AND STORM, it removes another veil from the immense talent, creativity, and care that has won O'Brien the respect of fans and critics around the world.