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Rick Wakeman - The Red Planet CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 193 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Firstly I'd like to say that this is my first review. It's been a long time coming as I've been a frequent guest on this site for many years now. I'm so grateful for all the music I've discovered from all the other contributors here and figured it was time I add something to the conversation, so here we go!

THEME - This latest instrumental album by Rick Wakeman attempts to explore the sonic soundscapes and emotions found within the context of the planet Mars. I think within the album this is depicted very well by the backing of The English Rock Ensemble who act as the rhythmically rocky ground which at times remind us of the crater ridden geographical landscape that is Mars. We feel this in a wide variety of musical moments which shift and morph from a sense of stability or gently walking along the flat lands of the planet, to pulsing cacophony, like riding on a bike up and down Mars' craters, and the feeling of being suspended in space, snug in your space suit while stars and asteroids swirl around your view. I think Rick Wakeman did a great job with the instrumentation and synthesizer sounds he chose to depict that galactic, interplanetary, vibe.

MUSICAL STYLE - This album is very "Prog" in the classic sense of the word, it features a story telling approach to song structure, with lots of emotional variety, impressive instrumental passages, incredibly atmospheric and musical extended solo sections taken by members of the band and overall a lot of skill and creativity found in the parts written by the musicians.

PRODUCTION - As for the production quality, this album is top notch. All the instruments sit very nicely in the mix, with no conflicting frequency ranges. Everything works well together, and you can see this in how tightly packed the rhythm section is in the central mix, while Wakeman's keyboards tend to sort of "surround" the rhythm, almost engulfing the other instruments in a spacial blanket, or perhaps cape. This can be heard well in the song The North Plain.

RATING - For a rating, I'm giving this a 4/5. I think it's a fantastic album of exceptional quality, and it's also a blast to listen to. I've given it quite a few listens since its release and will likely be playing it now and again throughout the future.

I will be pretty conservative with giving out 5 stars in my reviews, as I want to keep those for the numerous life changing or hugely inspirational albums that have found me throughout my life journey.

ToANMusic | 4/5 |


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