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Rick Wakeman - Night Airs  CD (album) cover

NIGHT AIRS

Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog


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3 stars An intelligently undemanding record.

"Wakeman meets Eno" is what I could christen this album, though a slight misunderstanding might ensue. Treat this comparison as an indication of calamity rather than instrumentation. Rick is in an exceptionally melancholic mood throughout the album and his choice of no instruments but a grand piano intensifies the lullaby-ish impression of all the tunes. A good combination, I daresay.

Describing each and every track would not be worth the effort, as every tune is built pretty much on a similar pattern (sans Jack Frost), so let me just sum up the overall feeling "Night Airs" convey. Wakeman does not excel and keeps his astonishing piano skills at bay. On the other hand he strings a variety of pretty melodies and sullen tunes together, embellishing them with his trademark licks and trills. Sadly, the pieces (or nocturnes as the album title might indicate) share a very similar pattern and show that perhaps Rick has spent a few minutes too few on finding ideas for chord progressions. I would even be willing to make a bet that writing and recording this album took approximately forty-five and half a minute (hilarious my sense of humour is, ain't it?). This is not to say that the album is boring. It just scarcely changes mood or tempo. But, whilst not demanding in terms of auditory experiences, "Night Airs" makes a great background for reading (try J.R.R. Tolkien).

Best track: Jack Frost (the most dynamic and outstanding piece, feels as if it were more suited for a different album, "Winter Airs" anyone?) Worst track: ...a little bit of this and a wee bit of that... (see how I'm getting better and better at omitting my task of finding bad tracks?)

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Send comments to Mike_Zed (BETA) | Report this review (#477980)
Posted Thursday, July 07, 2011 | Review Permalink

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