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Rick Wakeman - Out There CD (album) cover

OUT THERE

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 103 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars On many occasions I had read comparisons of 'Out There' to 'No Earthly Connection'. After I purchased it (Feb 2004), I arrived to the conclusion that, though the previous comparison was not totally out of the target, this specific record reminded me more of '1984', 'King Arthur' to a certain degree, and contemporary symphonic prog - even sometimes, prog metal (not only due to the style of Wilson's singing, but also to the somewhat heavy use of metal-like guitar riffs and solos). All in all, it was a record I enjoyed very much, because it includes lots of inspired melodic ideas, well achieved changes of tempo and mood, the typical Wakeman-pyrotechnics and keyboard 'wall of sound', and a sense of explosive energy that keeps the listener stuck on the music's pomp and circumstances. The opening and closing titles are the longest, therefore it is no surprise that they include the most complicated passages in symphonic terms, as well as an epic succession and reprise of various motifs. Tracks 4 and 5 are the most metallic-oriented, though they are not metal prog tunes per se: it's just the most aggresive attitude that a Wakeman rock tune can get, and it really works very fine (pay attention to the alternate solos of guitar and synths in the final 2 1/2 minutes of track 4). 'The Mission' is an excursion into a more funky-oriented realm, with hard rock attitude (think back of 'No Earthly Connection', as a point of reference), but it is the compelling semi-ballad 'To Be With You' that attracts most of my attention - besides the opening and closing numbers, that is. 'To Be With You' is constructed on a basis of eerie layers of synths and a computarized rhythm sequence, over which Pomeroy and Fernandez add their human touch with appropiate subtlety: Wilson's performance is particularly emotional as his singing almost reaches the point of whispering at times, though the most evocative singing comes from the chorale while in the background Wakeman displays some effective touches of piano - awesome! Generally speaking, 'Out There' is one of the best prog efforts of 2003, as well as one of Wakeman's best records in the last 20 years, which proves you that his musical creativity is still genuinely fruitful: lucky for us all prog-heads.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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