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Rick Wakeman - White Rock II CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

2.29 | 22 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Cold as ice

There is over 20 years between Wakeman's 1977 album "White rock" and this sequel. The link between them is that the music was written specifically for use with Winter Olympics films. While the music on the 1977 album related only to the previous year's event, this album is a compilation of music for a number of different Games. The notes on Rick's official website appear to imply that he has taken what he considers to be the best music from various official films of the Winter Olympics, and come up with his own interpretations of that music.

Unfortunately, the music overall here is of the rather prosaic nature many of his albums displayed in the 1990's. Many of the tracks are long, some well over 10 minutes, but they are repetitive and unimaginative. The appeal of the original "White rock" was the dynamic use of synth to portray the various downhill events such as slalom, luge and toboggan. At times, you were presented with a vivid picture of the scene through the music. Here, the themes are focused as much on the geographic locations of the Games as they are on the events themselves. The opening "Oriental iceman" for example has an unquestionably oriental flavour, but any relationship with "Ice" is fleeting.

"Ice pie" starts out as a delicate "Searching for gold" like theme, but soon becomes another lengthy workout on synth which could have been used on any of Wakeman's concept albums. And that pretty much sums up all the tracks. This is Wakeman by the numbers (yet again). There's nothing bold or exciting here, no synthesiser pyrotechnics or impossibly high moog screams, this is ultra-safe, pleasant, but in the end rather boring stuff.

Those who enjoy album after album of Rick tinkering with his keyboards will be satisfied by this release. For those seeking his wizardry though, you can safely pass by.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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