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Rick Wakeman - Retro 2 CD (album) cover

RETRO 2

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

3.20 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

richardh
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Another foray into the world of vintage keyboards from our erstwhile cape wearing wizard of prog.I was (and still is) a fan of his first Retro album and have had this for almost a year ,finally now getting round to reviewing it. It seems to me that Rick is not attempting to recreate seventies prog by going back to old keyboards but is in fact rying to find something new,or at least something that sits more comfortably with modern prog ideas. The sound is a lot cleaner which helps achieve that aim although fans of old style Rick Wakeman will be disappointed. So to the music:

1. Chasing The Devil (6.09) . A good solid instrumental start with excellent bass and drums.The band are smokin.8/10

2. Expect The Unexpected (4.38) .Gentler peice played in a relaxed jaunty way and featuring lead vocals from Elliot Tuffin. He has quite a gruff voice that suggests a bluesy background.Quite nice.7/10

3. Beyond The Void (9.04) .Trademark symphonic instrumental peice opening with a repetitive synth line that slowly builds.The keyboards are gradually layered on creating a stately ambience before the band kicks in after about 4 minutes.Then we have a more energetic and vibrant peice that recalls classic Wakeman.Best out and out prog track here by a country mile.9/10

4. An Angel Spoke To Me (5.33) .Delicate melodic song featuring the lovely voice of Ricks daughter Jemma.Very pretty music with nice Mellotron.7/10

5. The Soundtrack (7.29) .Quite a sombre slow paced track featuring some well judged Hammond organ.No fireworks although the mid section is quite heavy.OK but nothing more.6/10

6. The Fairgound Shuffle (4.34) .Another relaxed jaunty track that chugs along quite nicely.Nothing earth shattering although the Hammond organ is good. 6/10

7. Robert The Robot (3.44) .Elliot Tuffin features again.Pretty average and dangerously close to being 'filler'. 5/10

8. Standing Room Only (6.20) .More like it.Rockier hammond lead peice that brings a bit more energy to the proceedings. 7/10

9. Tigger The Bounce (4.42) Easily my favourite track on the album and the only piano peice. Rick is great here delicately caressing the keys and making the most of a nice theme.10/10

10.The Temple Of Life (11.02) .Longest track split into 4 sections. Jemma features strongly on the opener while the second section gets the Mellotron Choir treatment so beloved of Rick.The third section is a lot more energetic and brings the band more into the equation.The concluding section go full circle with Jemma heavily featured.7/10

Overall I feel this album is perched between good and excellent.Not a masterpeice but Rick succeeds in creating a perfectly enjoyable 'best of both worlds' keyboard album.

richardh | 4/5 |

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