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Rick Wakeman - Fields Of Green CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.00 | 28 ratings

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Progressive Heart
3 stars Rick Wakeman is indeed an iconic figure in the music scene, known both for his prolific output and creative genius. His remarkable ability to release such a vast number of albums over the years is truly noteworthy and demonstrates his unwavering commitment to music. In the 1990s, specifically, his prolific output of 37 studio albums and 9 live albums is an extraordinary achievement in itself. Among this extensive discography, "Fields Of Green" stands out as one of Wakeman's finest works during that period, being an album that encapsulates not only Wakeman's exceptional technical skill as a keyboardist and composer but also his ability to create emotive and immersive soundscapes that resonate with the listener on a deep level.

Fields Of Green does not have influences from the New Age genre like some other albums from the same period, although at many points it also isn't far from it. After all, at many moments the album presents elements that echo some of the qualities found in New Age music, such as ethereal atmospheres, serene textures, and a sense of tranquil contemplation. It's remarkable how Wakeman shows incredible dynamics and skill on his keyboards throughout all the tracks of "Fields Of Green." His ability to create intricate and emotive arrangements adds an extra layer of depth and richness to the compositions, elevating the album to an even higher level of musical excellence.

"Starship Trooper," this version of a Yes classic brings a special spotlight to Wakeman's unparalleled keyboard skills, offering a fresh perspective on the track. Purists may argue that the original version of "Starship Trooper" carries an irreplaceable magic, however, this reinterpretation has opened a new portal, especially for those who crave an extra dose of Wakeman's musical mastery. In summary, it's an invitation for both long-time Yes devotees and newcomers to the progressive rock universe to explore a different facet of a classic.

"The Promise Of Love" begins with an atmosphere of suspense and anticipation that gradually transforms into a powerful and deeply emotional rock ballad. The female vocals add a layer of sweetness and vulnerability to the piece, skillfully contrasting with the intensity of the guitars and the strength of the melody. It wasn't a song that caught me initially, but after a few listens, it became a charming track. As always, Wakeman's keyboards add moments of brilliance and depth that further elevate the listening experience.

"The Spanish Wizard" is a track that delivers an intriguing fusion of elements from dramatic hard rock and some fine and catchy textures. The guitar lines are great, conveying intensity that establishes a solid foundation for the musical narrative. It doesn't have any kind of intricate arrangement or virtuosic instrumental maneuver, but it works well.

'The Never Ending Road' tt's undeniable that the solos and instrumental segments performed by Rick Wakeman are skillful and technically solid. However, the composition as a whole seems not to reach the expected potential. The lack of originality and the feeling that the music is dragging on without a clear purpose for almost 9 minutes is one of its main issues. Perhaps it would work better if it were half its length.

'The Fighter its first second of guitar, there's a possibility to relate a Rick Wakeman song to 'Alive' by Pearl Jam ' remember, I'm just talking about the very first second of music, okay? Unlike the previous track, "The Fighter" represents a step forward in terms of energy and dynamism. Rick Wakeman's solos, as usual, are the highlight of the song, it's through these solos that some progressive essence can be felt along with its hard rock atmosphere.

'Tell Me Why' emerges as a ballad that aligns with catchy melody AOR. At first, it might seem like it will fall into the same generic field as 'The Never Ending Road", but it goes beyond that, delivering good guitar lines and keyboards that add a layer of sophistication and texture to the music, complementing the melodic vibe.

"The Rope Trick" stands out as a track that strongly evokes the characteristic sound of 80s rock, even reminiscent of the band Survivor. The guitar line adds a dose of energy and intensity to the track, while an engaging mix of catchy melodies and very good chord progressions gives it plenty of dynamics. A song that captures the essence of 80s rock very well.

"The Niceman" begins with an atmospheric texture that immediately captures the listener's attention, quickly transitioning to a more playful and energetic line, marking a shift from the initial ambiance to something more dynamic and vibrant. Asserting that this song leans more towards hard rock than progressive rock isn't surprising, given the trend observed in previous tracks. Excellent guitar and keyboard lines give the track a special flavor.

"Fields of Green" is the closing track of the album, marking a smooth transition into more progressive territory, distinguishing itself from the previous tracks with its more reflective and emotional approach. It's very beautiful and has excellent moments, but, although I don't usually - with few exceptions - take issue with the track order of an album, I'm not sure if this one is in the right place, making it somewhat disappointing in terms of concluding an album.

While not the ideal starting point for those venturing into Rick Wakeman's vast musical universe for the first time, "Fields of Green" represents a less explored yet valuable aspect of the keyboardist's career. For fans already familiar with Wakeman's most acclaimed works, here lies an opportunity to delve deeper and discover new facets of his artistic expression. For music aficionados seeking a more comprehensive understanding of Wakeman's art, "Fields of Green" serves as a reminder that beyond the grand peaks, there are serene and beautiful valleys to be explored. This album invites the listener to appreciate the subtle details and depth that reside in these less prominent works.

In summary, while "Fields of Green" may not boast the audacity of Wakeman's other albums, it offers an interesting musical experience in its own way. For those willing to dive beyond the recognized classics, there are valuable rewards to be discovered in this and other lesser-known "worlds" of Wakeman.

Progressive Heart | 3/5 |


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