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Rick Miller

Crossover Prog

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Rick Miller Dark Dreams album cover
3.88 | 80 ratings | 4 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Return to Uqbar (6:13)
2. Angels in the Forest (8:17)
3. When the Evening Comes (2:56)
4. Whispers (5:23)
5. The Transcension (2:26)
6. Quiet Desperation (6:48)
7. Hear the Ocean Roar (3:24)
8. Man Out of Time (5:19)
9. The One (Reincarnate) (4:22)

Total Time 45:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Miller / vocals, keyboards, Mellotron, guitar, bass, composer & producer

- Barry Haggarty / guitar
- Kane Miller / violin
- Mateusz Swoboda / cello
- Nancy Foote / flute
- Will / drums & percussion
- Kristina Vowels / backing vocals (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Larrissa Kulik (Ann Mei)

CD MALS ‎- MALS 384 (2012, Russia)

Digital album

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RICK MILLER Dark Dreams ratings distribution

(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

RICK MILLER Dark Dreams reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Dark Dreams' - Rick Miller (7/10)

Canadian multi-instrumentalist Rick Miller has always been one for mellow music. Beginning his work in the eighties with the new age record "Starsong", Rick has gone on to make a series of albums, often drawing comparisons to the work of Pink Floyd, and for good reason. "Dark Dreams" is another warming addition to this saga, capitalizing on his soulful guitar style and artistic maturity.

The comparisons to Pink Floyd are well founded, although I think I would take it one step closer and liken Miller's work to Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's solo career, particularly "On An Island". The music here is fleshed out with atmosphere, built around melancholic songwriting, and brought to life through Miller's lead guitar, of which listeners will hear much of. Although his voice is somewhat plain, Rick uses it well, and his songwriting- often graced with satirical lyrics- works with his subdued vocal approach. Like many other, more laid-back vocalists in prog rock- notably Steven Wilson- Rick Miller distinguishes his vocal talent through beautiful vocal harmonies. The key to his talent lies in the guitar, however. Although much of the album's forty-five minutes is allocated to the more structured elements of his songwriting, he never forgets to give some breathing room for his guitar, home to some of the most tasteful soloing I've heard in a while.

Above all, I may be most impressed by the way Miller has produced his work. After having worked in a recording studio for some time, it's clear that this experience has translated well in his work, resulting in a gorgeous sound for "Dark Dreams". With particular regards to his vocal harmonies, Rick's ear for mixing is spot-on. Of course- much like the songwriting- the sound of "Dark Dreams" sticks itself within a fairly tight room. Barring the ethnic ambiance that bookends the record, listeners can expect to hear a fairly straightforward course of melancholic rock, rarely deviating from the slow to mid-tempo pace. For the intents of a 'chill out' album, "Dark Dreams" does not suffer loss, but it would have been nice to hear Rick Miller's artistic vision broadened. His talent and skill of engineering is very evident, but the sense of restraint is never broken.

Needless to say, fans of David Gilmour's solo work will love what Rick Miller offers; Rick certainly delivers many of the same traits and qualities that make the former such an icon. "Dark Dreams" rarely leaps out or seeks to surprise, but it creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere for one to sit down and relax to, and I think that's what Miller set out to do all along.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Canadian artist, composer and musician Rick MILLER is among the veterans of the Canadian music scene, with a recording career that goes all the way back to 1983. "Dark Dreams" is his ninth full-length studio production, and was released by the Russian label MALS Records in the spring of 2012.

Gentle, subtly brooding progressive rock with distinct similarities to 70's Pink Floyd in sound is Canadian artist Rick Miller's specialty, and on "Dark Dreams" he's created perhaps his most enticing album of this kind so far. Sporting arrangements of a somewhat more refined nature than previously, it is a CD that should please all existing fans and one that merits a check by followers of the aforementioned Pink Floyd.

Review by Progulator
3 stars Two things should immediately catch your attention about Rick Miller's latest album, Dark Dreams. First, the really cool cover. I don't know what it is about this cover, I think somehow it kind of reminds me of watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe cartoon from when I was a kid; kind of a psychologically destroyed post-apocalyptic version of Aslan on the stone- table. But seriously, what really got me excited was Miller's references to Jorge Luis Borges, again! He's already paid plenty of tribute to Borges in the past with his album Dreamtigers and various Borges themed song titles, and what we get here is a fantastic opening track, "Return to Uqbar," which pays homage to the master of short story. Dark Dreams is a very relaxing and mostly satisfying album. I would describe it as symphonic prog with a strong new age vibe. The sound of the album is very thick and atmospheric. It is calming, but at the same time I feel like buried under much of the music is a certain level of distress or anxiety which keeps the album interesting. My only complaint about the record, overall, is that it seems to have its ups and downs as far as the compositions go. Some tracks are really fantastic, while others seemed to put me to sleep. Definitely an album worth checking out, especially if you're into Borges and Pink Floyd!
Review by kev rowland
5 stars 2012's 'Dark Dreams' saw a new flautist in Nancy Foote, but apart from that the line-up was the same as for 'In The Shadows'. From the very first song, 'Return To Uqbar' there is the impression that Miller is taking a step to move slightly out of his comfort zone. Although for the most part the Floydian and symphonic elements are still here, but here he is definitely pushing the boundaries of his own musical envelope, from the sue of middle eastern influences through to harsher guitar solos and a brooding darkness that sits underneath the music. There is a far greater sense of dynamics on this album, and I can see why it has gained more popularity among critics than the two albums which preceded it. Me, I thought they were incredible pieces of art as they were, and there was no need for change, but this allows the listener to hear a different side of Miller. As well as highly complex layers, he is also content here to put vocals against piano and cello in a way that is more reminiscent of acoustic and folk acts that someone who is generally thought of as being a crossover prog musician.

There is definitely a confidence in the album, as one would expect from someone who has been consistent both in his musical approach and in the personnel he has used on his albums, of which this was his ninth. As with his previous album, this was released in a gatefold sleeve with all the lyrics and an inner, just as if it had been put out on vinyl and been backed by a major record label. It certainly deserves that approach as yet again this is an album of real majestic symphonic melodic delight. I rarely see Rick's name mentioned on the multiple progressive groups I belong to, which is a massive oversight, as he has consistently produced wonderful albums which I can listen to repeatedly with great pleasure each and every time.

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