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Rick Wakeman - Visions [Aka: Visions Of Paradise] CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Easy listening

The rather uninspired booklet accompanying this album is largely made up of adverts for other Rick Wakeman new age albums. It does however state that this is "An album of keyboard based orchestral music". Such a description while perhaps accurate, is rather misleading.

"Visions" is yet another of Rick Wakeman's new age music releases, performed by Wakeman alone, and recorded in his studio on the Isle of Man. It consist entirely of relaxing keyboard melodies, played at a single pace. There's no variety to the music, no virtuoso flourishes, no drama or excitement, and little variation in the sound.

The music is certainly pleasant, if totally unchallenging. The impression is given that Wakeman is on cruise control, knocking out these tracks one after the other, and completing the album before tea time. That may be a little unfair, as I'm sure he spent some time and effort on the compositions, but each melody is prolonged in such a way as to make say a one minute interlude piece into a seven minute track.

A times the music sounds rather home made, along the lines of that created on midi files. The lack of authentic bass, drums guitar etc., renders the hour plus of listening somewhat tedious. I'm sure if this music were to be performed by an orchestra, it would sound highly proficient, although even then the lack of variety could prove challenging.

As with many of Wakeman's album of this period, "Visions" bears little relation to his superb early solo works, or indeed to his times with Yes (the track "Astral traveller" here is not the one from "Time and a word"!). Recommended only for insomniacs, or those wishing to create an atmosphere for other activities.

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Posted Sunday, October 23, 2005 | Review Permalink

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