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Rick Wakeman - Wakeman & Cousins: Hummingbird CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

2.62 | 18 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This should probably be in its own section as with COUSINS AND CONRAD, as it's more of a Cousins offering but with some keyboard magnification. Only here, unlike Cousins and Conrad, the folk rock base contributes more than the symphonic. Wakeman's does enhance the accompaniment of the "songs" while taking charge on the instrumentals, most of which are just interludes en route to Cousins' next rant.

While the album boasts 2 fine upbeat original songs - "The Great Pretender" (with excellent fiddle contribution by Ric Sanders) and "All in Vain", and several decent quieter ones - the title cut and "Higher Germainie", it is short in overall time of which close to half are covers of old Strawbs tunes. All of this suggests a creative deficit. It's all well and good to re-do "October to May" which is a potent piece of weathered folk, especially since its best known version up to that point was a cappella, and even the timelessly angst-ridden "So Shall our Love Die", but to reprise latter day duds like "Stone Cold is the Woman's Heart" smacks of poor judgment, while the lame original "Can You Believe" is actually along the same lines. Among the Wakeman only compositions, only "Via Bencini" is involved enough to stand on its own, and quite a lovely melodic piece it is.

For all its blatant qualitative and quantitative failings, "Hummingbird", in the hands of two old school friends, typifies enough of the whirring delicacy of its namesake avian to warrant an upgrade if not a buzz.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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