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Rick Wakeman - No Earthly Connection CD (album) cover

NO EARTHLY CONNECTION

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 166 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Got this album by accident in the first months of 1977, my parents were in USA so I asked them to buy me Six Wives, Myths & Legends and Journey, but the clerk told my mom this was Rick's latest release, so she also bought it, still can't thank her more.

The album is absolutely different to all the previous, of course Rick keeps his classic baroque style but the album has a pessimistic and dark atmosphere with a more space rock oriented sound.

The concept is somehow pretentious because telling a parallel history of humanity and music is something impossible to achieve in 42 minutes, specially when the lyrics not strong enough (reaching in some parts the cheesy status). All along the album Wakeman shows an obsession for a supreme being, calling him by different names like The Maker, The Astronaut, The Spaceman or even The Reaper, obsession not strange in a man that reached the 30's and is becoming aware of his mortality.

But the music is outstanding, enhanced by the always capable English Rock Ensemble, "No Earthly Connection" is much more progressive and less classical than anything Rick did before, the constant changes of timing and the precise combination of instruments are a constant in this release. In this album Rick evolves from a classical music adapter to a more progressive and innovative composer, less pompous but still brilliant and more mature.

The first track ("Music Reincarnate") is a five part epic that tells a depressive story of humanity based on the loss of it's musical soul and abandoned to his fate by a disappointed maker. Full of abrupt changes and different musical influences, this track is the "Piece de Resistance " which goes from breathtaking chords to pleasant and calm melodies.

"The Prisoner" is a different track, more baroque than the previous with excellent chorus tells the story of a criminal who is condemned by man and by a revengeful God, the magnificent keyboards section in the middle of the songs reminds the listener of the classical Wakeman style. This is the song that I find more rewarding and well elaborated.

The album ends with a more eclectic song "The Lost Cycle" again Wakeman mixes spacey sounds with good piano solos, IMO the weakest track but still a very good one.

Not a masterpiece but absolutely essential, captures Rick Wakeman's music still at the peak of his creativity but with a different approach than in most of his albums.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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