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Rick Wakeman - Softsword CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 39 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Ok, now don't freak out when I say this. But I think that as a person & as a keyboardist, Rick Wakeman is a wee bit overrated. Now don't get me wrong, he is an amazing keyboardist, but he is overrated, and I think that even in compositional and creative terms, Tony Banks & Keith Emerson easily outmatch him.

His solo stuff is quite poor & average in my opinion (I've only heard 2, and might to get some more, I need suggestions basically), and this album proves it. This album is okay, it does have some massive flaws & can be boring at time, but it has some good moments and a pretty good vocalist on it.

The one problem that I had with this album was the story. The album should be about King John and all his accomplishments, not the relationship with his wife. Ok, we have now discovered that this album is based on a relationship, but there is one word that is said non stop in this album, the world "love." Now I wouldn't mind it every now and then, but the word pops up everywhere. I counted how many times it is said?.it's 40, and this is coming from an album that is dominantly instrumental. Seriously, it is said too much, in one song it is said over 20 times.

1. Magna Charter - Nice atmospheric instrumental intro. The acoustic guitar parts do sound like a cheap backing track. The vocals are very good though. This song does remind me of an over pompous and dramatic Led Zeppelin song. The piano solo is quite interesting with some nice Antonius Rex like percussion. The programmed drums are out of synch most of the time.

2. After Prayers - Sounds like a boring Simply Red song (now don't get me wrong, I love me Simply Red). Very cheap sounding. Almost like something you would hear in a pub with some singer singing over a backing track. The vocals are quite good though. The lyrics are quite sinister.

3. Battle Sonata - Nice instrumental. Show's off Wakeman's true abilities. Although I'm not getting a very battle like vibe from it.

4. The Siege - I love the keyboards in this song, very sadistic. Pretty interesting song. The word love is thrown in whenever it can, seriously, at any random moment, it's thrown in. Love is said so many times, there isn't even a mention of a battle and if it is, it is overclouded.

5. Rochester College ? Nice interlude. Interesting use of keyboards.

6. The Story Of Love (King John) - LOVE!!!!!! Oh my god, get over the use of using that word. The intro sounds like late Pink Floyd. Love is said even more in this song, I thought he was taking the piss most of the time. The ending is interesting.

7. March Of Time - Best song on the album. The off time drums ruin it a bit though.

8. Don't Fly Away - I like the almost electronica like backbeat. The 80's sound is very cheesy but very

9. Isabella - Quite cool instrumental with some mental keyboard work.

10. Softsword - A nice flluety interlude.

11. Hymn Of Hope - The keyboards make the song very dark and quite eerie. Nice way to end the album.

CONCLUSION: This album would have been way much better if played with a full live band, and with a lot more precision and more careful arrangements?and better lyrics?.LOVE!!!!!!!

arcane-beautiful | 2/5 |


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