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RICK MILLER

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Rick Miller biography
Richard Norman Miller

Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist RICK MILLER made his debut effort as a solo artist back in 1983 with the new age production Starsong, which shifted a highly respectable 30.000 units at the time. He would follow up this venture with Windhaven in 1987, and his efforts Interstellar Passage from 1998 and the EP No Passion, No Pain from 2009 would continue exploring similar musical territories.

But after honing his craft working at Sound Design Studios in Toronto throughout the 80's and 90's, Miller wanted to have a go at his true musical love as well, atmospheric progressive rock inspired by artists such as Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues and Steve Hackett.

This lead to a flurry of releases following the start of the millenium: The One (2003), Dreamtigers (2004), The End of Days (2006) and Angel of My Soul (2008). These efforts gave Miller a good reputation, and in 2009 he was signed by Canadian indie label Unicorn Records. His first release for this label was the 2009 effort Falling Through Rainbows.

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RICK MILLER discography


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RICK MILLER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.57 | 14 ratings
Starsong
1984
2.32 | 15 ratings
Interstellar Passage
2000
3.23 | 20 ratings
The One
2003
3.44 | 31 ratings
Dreamtigers
2004
3.57 | 28 ratings
The End of Days
2006
3.96 | 48 ratings
Angel of My Soul
2008
3.99 | 46 ratings
Falling Through Rainbows
2009
3.71 | 45 ratings
In the Shadows
2011
3.88 | 80 ratings
Dark Dreams
2012
3.90 | 60 ratings
Immortal Remains
2013
3.89 | 173 ratings
Heart of Darkness
2014
3.77 | 85 ratings
Breaking Point
2015
3.77 | 55 ratings
Delusional
2018
3.89 | 92 ratings
Belief in the Machine
2020
3.88 | 35 ratings
Unstuck in Time
2020
3.82 | 31 ratings
Old Souls
2022
3.65 | 35 ratings
Altered States
2023
4.34 | 34 ratings
One of the Many
2024

RICK MILLER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RICK MILLER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RICK MILLER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Leftovers and bonus tracks
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best of Rick Miller
2018

RICK MILLER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 3 ratings
Paradox - Electro Leftovers
1985
4.00 | 1 ratings
No Passion No Pain
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
The River Lethe
2010

RICK MILLER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 One of the Many by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2024
4.34 | 34 ratings

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One of the Many
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by BBKron

4 stars Canadian composer, multi-instrumentalist, and prog rock artist Rick Miller has been around for many years (has released 13 albums since 2000), but this is the first album of his I have heard, and it is quite wonderful. A moody, somewhat dark, but very melodic and beautiful concept album dealing with issues of emotional struggles, memory issues, nostalgia, and loss. The obvious musical reference here is Pink Floyd, as the mood, style, and sound is undeniably Floydesque, but with various other elements reminiscent of The Moody Blues, Mike Oldfield, Porcupine Tree, and The Alan Parsons Project. This is an excellent album that unfortunately seems to be getting lost in the shuffle of bigger name releases as no one seems to be talking about this one, but it is quite wonderful from start to finish. Even with the obvious musical references, Miller has constructed a wondrously vivid and creative musical gem here. Best tracks: Atrophy, The Lost Years, One of the Many, Perchance to Dream, Another Time. Rating: 4 stars
 One of the Many by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2024
4.34 | 34 ratings

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One of the Many
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by Progressive Heart

5 stars Rick Miller has been active since the last decades of the 20th century, during a period when progressive rock had already passed through its phase of greatest popularity, dominated by bands such as Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson. However, the music of these and other groups from the '70s had a significant impact on Miller, inspiring him to delve into classic progressive ideas, with complex arrangements, diverse instrumentation, and ambitious lyrical themes. Miller's musical style is characterized by his attention to detail and the use of many sound textures. He employs a variety of instruments, but is particularly known for his skill with keyboards and guitar. His music often features layers of atmospheric keyboards, emotional guitar solos, and a solid rhythm section that serves as the backbone for his expansive compositions.

He began his recording career in 1984, with One of the Many being his 18th album and undoubtedly one of his most ambitious achievements. As he has been doing in a prolific manner, Miller delights his audience with charming, polished, and passionate musicality. As always, the clear influences of names like Pink Floyd and Moody Blues are evident; however, they coexist with his own musical direction and commitment to artistic integrity, as well as a strong desire to explore the unknown. This is a journey through rich and textured soundscapes that challenge conventions and expand the horizons of auditory perception?therefore, it is worth remembering that good headphones are always welcome.

"Atrophy" begins the album by smoothly sliding into a world of sounds where time becomes a mirage and emotions intertwine in a magical dance. "Atrophy" is more than just a song; it's a transcendental journey through the realms of melody and narrative. In this sonic oasis, Miller's music flourishes in its fullness, blending a palette of sounds that captivate the senses and soothe the soul. Meanwhile, Miller delves into the perspective of someone who is experiencing an emotional struggle with memory loss.

"Time Goes On" is a track that exudes an aura of serenity and introspection from the moment Rick emerges with his first piano notes. The delicacy with which the music unfolds and its sense of fluidity and movement is extremely fitting with its narrative suggesting a reflection on the nature of death and the fear it often evokes. Meanwhile, guitar and violin dance in perfect harmony as they lead a grand piece - despite its short duration.

"The Lost Years" is the kind of dynamic and multifaceted music that brilliantly navigates an emotional rollercoaster full of heartwarming sonic twists and turns. A thematic exploration of nostalgia and regret, highlighting the intricate web of past relationships and how memories can persist, haunting and shaping present life. The guitar lines are the best on the album, sounding like a confession and delivering truly raw emotion. Its dreamlike ending is like bidding farewell to something precious and irreplaceable.

"She of the Darkness" is an incredible instrumental track led by wonderful flute work. Its ethereal chords echo like the gentle sigh of wind through the trees, evoking a sense of serenity and contemplation. This celestial melody is then enriched by the dense orchestrations that surround it, creating a rich and lush sonic tapestry that fills the space with a feeling of grandeur and majesty. Guitar, piano, and a brief "guitar attack" complement the track wonderfully well.

"One of the Many" has a beginning that is hard not to evoke Pink Floyd, enveloping us in a sonic haze while ethereal vocal effects add a celestial dimension to the composition. It addresses the challenges of the digital age and highlights the role of technology and media in today's society, as well as the importance of critical discernment when consuming and sharing information. With its unique fusion of captivating melodies, intelligent lyrics, and an incredible sensitivity to sound, it is a classic example of Miller's talent in creating sublime music.

"Perchance to Dream," with its over 13 minutes, is the epic of the album. It's not just a musical journey, but an emotional odyssey that transports us through a myriad of feelings and profound reflections, where Rick Miller skillfully uses each musical element to create an immersive sonic experience in a lyrical theme that addresses both dreamlike and real elements. It's also possible to include a contemplation on the essence of life and how we perceive the world around us, conveying an enigmatic atmosphere, longing, and reflection on existence, leading listeners to ponder the essence of reality and human experience. Anguishing guitar lines, delicate flutes, atmospheric keyboards, and a solid rhythmic section create majestic soundscapes, where the deeper we sink into its sad and melancholic melody, the more we are transported back in time, to a place where smiles were easier and the world seemed simpler.

"Wonderlust" is a composition that overflows with emotion and depth, evoking a complexity of feelings and images that speak directly to the soul. In this invitation to explore the mysteries of existence, we find a sublime blend of melancholy, beauty, and introspection. It's a soundtrack for meditation where the focus is on life's journey delivered in a mix of beauty and sadness, and even an attraction to the unknown. Each of its elements is essential, from the incisive guitar to the stirring cello and celestial choir; everything works in perfect harmony to create a sensational auditory experience.

"Another Time" not only closes the album musically but also serves as a gateway to personal reflection and introspection. It invites us to dive into the depths of our own experiences, recognizing the beauty and complexity of human life. Acoustic and accompanied by some cello flourishes, along with a moderate beat from the rhythm section, it's a beautifully melancholic conclusion to a brilliant album.

One of the Many once again showcases Miller's ability to weave complex sonic elements with melodic sensitivity, offering richly detailed and nuanced layers to be explored. The intricate instrumentation and sophisticated arrangements provide a rich and immersive auditory experience, rewarding even the most discerning listeners and progressive music enthusiasts with a musical journey that never fails to surprise and impress.

On the other hand, for casual listeners who may not be as familiar with progressive music, One of the Many offers an accessible and inviting entry point into an intriguing sonic world. The captivating melodies and memorable hooks make the music instantly appealing, providing an auditory experience that is both stimulating and rewarding.

 Altered States by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.65 | 35 ratings

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Altered States
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Rick Miller is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist who has been active since the mid-80s and has mostly been associated with the genre of progressive rock, wherein he incorporates some elements of new age music and the like, always displaying a strong affinity towards the tonality and expression dear to artists like Pink Floyd, Steve Hackett, or even Alan Parsons, giving his music this celebratory yet somewhat derivative edge. All of this, I believe, is fairly well portrayed by his 2023 release titled 'Altered State', a pretty calm and gently monotonous collection of songs that evoke a strong inspiration from the music of the artists previously mentioned.

As Miller drifts between dreamy and cinematic guitar passages, always cinematic and tranquil, through more electronic or folky elements that give another dimension to the album overall, the music always remains a little unimaginative, especially given the strong resemblance to an Alan Parsons project, as if his musical DNA has been injected into the sound of 'Altered State'. Nevertheless, some of the guitar highlights on here are tasty and rewarding, the tone of most of these songs is enjoyable, and the bluesy edge present here and there is absolutely fine. The vocals hardly stand out as excellent (something this album has in common with many Steve Hackett albums, for example) and the music does not really present anything groundbreaking, nor too exceptional and unheard of in the realm of progressive rock, making this album slightly derivative and forgettable, but fine enough for what it is.

 One of the Many by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2024
4.34 | 34 ratings

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One of the Many
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Here is a consistently focused artist that just keeps on giving every year sterling musical adventures, that pay homage to the early glory years of Progressive rock. Yes, there is an obvious Floyd reference, as well as the Moody Blues and early Alan Parsons Project, in that the proposed material is smooth as the finest silk, and contrary to some pundits who may state that his craft is just the same composition over and over again, I must state that this would be a grossly unfair and a rather cheap characterization. Because upon closer scrutiny among the 13 Rick Miller albums I have in my collection, there are endless examples of variation, alteration, and progression. He does his thing and its extremely entertaining, especially if, like me, you enjoy adventurous mind music that takes you somewhere that is way more interesting that the daily and impertinent media sludge we are subjected too, for way too long. Plus, I admire petulant rebels who refuse to bend over and spread 'em!

A shimmering introduction with the 8 minute + "Atrophy", a velvety concoction that possesses all the Miller trademarks, a leisurely developing melody with soothing keys, bumping bass and percussive pace, with a series of glittering guitar interventions, while Rick' hushed and gentle voice, tells the tale, "As time slips through my hand". A slight Egyptian sonority adds the needed mystery, various voice effects thrown in theatrically, and capped off by a blazing solo from the Barry Haggarty guitar, as the arrangement glides higher into the stratosphere. Change of pace on the measured "Time Goes On", as Rick settle down on his piano, guitars twanging in the sound corridors, hushed voice, and a quivering lead axe blast, as the acoustic guitar proposes a crystalline contrast, a most pleasant little composition.

Speaking of contrast, the tortuously volatile "The Lost Years" is garnished with celestial female vocals and a raucous (rock) rhythm guitar riff that would make the stoned Keith smile, rapid shifts of tone and finally, another extended bluesy Haggarty rant, all kinds of mini-transitions as to prepare for a mid-section that adds cinematographic grandeur, a trait that Miller has perfected over the decades. When Rick states "I am your knight in white satin", I cannot help but grin at the overt hint. This is perhaps one of his finest compositions yet, a classic Miller track that has all the condiments to excite the taste receptors, including a rather dreamy yet solemn outro.

A breathtaking instrumental "She of the Darkness", is the proud owner of a heartbreakingly gorgeous melody played on the flute by Giulia Cacciavillani, shrouded with dense orchestrations, a pastoral acoustic guitar from Kane Miller and an elegant piano accompaniment. Simply magnificent.

The title track reverts back to familiar territory, a flowing lilt that does have a Floydian feel , what with the gentle rhythmic pulse, the voice effects, the bluesy guitar flourishes and Rick seizing the microphone once again, less hushed and more immediate, as the main melody will adhere to your senses from the very first spin, as if this was 'One of the Many' times his material had offered up such pleasures. The daunting lyrics are particularly clever 'The truth gets torn to tiny bits, so we can reach a million hits'. My everyday thoughts precisely, as bold-faced media lying has become the new messiah.

The grand epic is up next with "Perchance to Dream" a colossal 13 minute + effort, the appropriate platform to stretch out the arrangements and literally shoot for the stars. The flute, piano and voice combo settle once again the score (excuse the pun), adding lush choir vocals, a current fixation of mine. Again, the lyrics are highly expressive, with the current trend of disbelief firmly stated. "You place your trust each day in the machine, you want to believe, but life is not what it seems. I don't care if I ever see another day of reality. Look back through the years, I once dried your tears". Gulp! Yes, I have become uncomfortably numb! I long for the gentler, perhaps even na´ve days of my youth. A series of profound guitar solos underpin the sorrow of the burgeoning importance of the negative narrative, banishing the goodness to the sin bin. A masterful performance once again. The siren is calling on "Wonderlust", a beckoning to some kind of finality, a revelation or simply just an end and perhaps an eventual rebirth. Sorrowful choir, acoustic guitar, and a stark cello surge from Artem Litovchenko and Mateusz Swoboda conspire to illustrate the dread, sliced wide open by razor sharp electric guitar surgery, amid all the Gothic Valhalla intensity.

The final track acts as a bonus track (the brooding lyrics introduced after the musical credits), asking 'how long does a lifetime last'and referring a moody 'Days of future past'. It is the natural finality that as we veer towards the golden years, nostalgia kicks in. We will ALL eventually return to those pleasant moments in our past where we found solace, love, understanding, compassion, and peace. Old Souls, old memories.

Kudos for the recent artwork, as Old Souls, Altered States and this latest one, are all attractive renditions of the music inside. This album is my favourite from this artist, and I urge the discriminating sonic adventurist to go out and get endless bliss from this release. I certainly did and will, as this was one of the many times I listened.

5 Sole souls

 Altered States by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.65 | 35 ratings

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Altered States
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars In 2022 Miller returned with his seventeenth studio album, again sticking with his tried and trusted line-up of Sarah Young (flute), Mateusz Swoboda (cello), Barry Haggarty (guitar), Kane Miller (guitar, violin) and Will (drums & percussion) although second flautist Jaye Marsh is no longer involved and has instead been replaced by Giulia Cacciavillian. While I am not sure I would call this a concept album, I would certainly say that many of the songs sit on a theme and if the cover art had shown a wolf instead of a lizard and a frog I would not have been surprised, given we have "New Moon Prelude", "Wolf Moon", "Half Moon" and "Full Moon Rising".

Musically we have moved more into the areas of Steve Hackett, and it would not take much for one to believe that "The Trap" is a long lost track which was recorded for 'Acolyte', but there are still plenty of influences from classic Barclay James Harvest, Alan Parsons Project and Pink Floyd. I also find it interesting that there are songs here which one would imagine with a different arrangement could well be considered folk rock, such is their style. The layered vocals, the non-rushed guitars, have a very different approach to so many others which are out there, and the result is an album which gently moves from symphonic to folk all the time staying very progr4essive but also bringing it plenty of atmosphere and ambient trends. It is very much an album for the listener to fall inside, to be removed from the daily stresses and strains and instead be taken away to somewhere very different indeed.

The way to get the most out of this album is by playing it on headphones when there is no possibility of being disturbed, where one can allow the music to take control and for the listener to be swept away on the wings of their own imagination. Yet another simply wonderful album from Rick, a worthy addition to his canon

 Old Souls by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Old Souls
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Here we have Canadian musician Rick Miller back with his sixteenth studio album, for which he has kept the same line- up as he had for 2020's 'Unstuck In Time' with Sarah Young (flute), Mateusz Swoboda (cello), Barry Haggarty (guitar), Kane Miller (guitar, violin) and Will (drums & percussion) although they have now been joined by an additional flautist in Jaye Marsh. Miller of course provides all other instrumentation, vocals, and produced the album as well as writing all the material. I have always felt that Miller is massively under appreciated within the prog world, yet he continues to put out wonderful albums year after year, and just seeing his name on the cover of a release is a guarantee of great music inside, although I must admit I have not heard any of his albums before 2009's 'Falling Through Rainbows', but the minimum I have given any of his releases since then (and I have been fortunate enough to review all of them) has been 8/10, with a fair few 10/10.

Pink Floyd has always been an influence, but there is also much on here that one could relate back to early Barclay James Harvest while Alan Parsons Project is also involved somewhere along the line. Miller is crossover in its truest sense in that he has no boundaries and instead goes where ethe muse takes him, so we can be symphonic in some places and folk in others, always with his emotional and haunting vocals bringing the listener deep inside. While many of his influences do reach back in time, this never feels like an album from nearly 50 years ago but instead is fresh and new. Designed to be played on headphones there is often a simple complexity within, so while the underlying structure may be fairly basic and moving quite sedately there could well be a complex guitar melody laid over the top, always with the layered vocals taking us along for the ride. There is never any stress or rush within his music, with an almost ambient feel to much of what he produces, and we are invited into his world as opposed to being hit over the head and dragged in, which is a refreshing approach and something I have become very used to over the years. He is a master of his craft, and I am not sure why he has never really gained the attention and acclaim he deserves, but here is yet another Canadian music producing progressive rock music on his own terms and very fine it is indeed.

 Altered States by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.65 | 35 ratings

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Altered States
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars RICK MILLER started in 1983 in the field of electronic music and decided to continue in symphonic progressive rock, PINK FLOYD and GENESIS in sight; he returns for his 17th album to his loves of the beginning by reconciling the atmospheric, the electronic and the symphonic; sweet, captivating melodies with manly jolts; crossover bathed in sounds of Floyd, ENYA, VANGELIS and ALAN PARSONS.

'Altered States' intro on pure VANGELIS, trippy, pure prog juice; a Floydian key then ALAN PARSONS for the keyboards; languorous as a musical marshmallow, the 6-string shows the striking force unfolding a ballad and a synthetic prog break as we no longer imagined; a little flute to melt, the entrance slap. 'New Moon Prelude' archaic interlude with tribal percussions on steel drum and flute from the highlands to recharge before 'Wolf Moon' occurring, between the nocturnal atmosphere and the spatial atmosphere, with spleen, emotion and contemplative air; languorous voice, long sinuous melody interspersed with wild orchestral breaks, a dark cello that makes you dream or nightmare, ah this wolf. 'Borrowed Time' follows on a declination of Soundtrack of film, between orient and lord of the rings with elves in front; sweetness, tranquility of sound and melody with the flute of Sarah and Giulia; introspective and melancholy latent moment introducing a radiant guitar.

'The Trap' interlude melody that kills with cascading angelic flute, cinematic sound effects, purely orchestral, destabilizing serenity; the unstoppable progressive piece. 'Old Secrets' dark, avant-garde floydian, bewitching voice for a dreamlike ballad that is worth more than the last GILMOUR. 'Half Moon' grandiloquent folk-oriental-atmo interlude showing the work of composition, to listen to with headphones, magnificent. 'A Dream Within A Dream' returns to the title sung between MOODY BLUES and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST, with the guitar solo which raises the feeling until the final melodic slide. 'Full Moon Rising' usually the big title here a cinematic effect to close the album on a dark, disturbing air, like what it's not marshmallow on all floors.

RICK MILLER always amazes me offering a sound planned in advance, but where progressive touches always hide and leave you speechless. it is melodic but very well done, a state of symphonic grace much better than many current so-called melodic compositions that are not very full and emotional; in short, this concept album on ambient and atmospheric nature is still worth its weight. Jewel with a 4.5 in the genre.

 Heart of Darkness by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.89 | 173 ratings

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Heart of Darkness
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by Realmean

4 stars The continuation of a long journey in the heart of a musical empire at the crossroads of tortured introspection and spiritual fulfillment. The eponymous title, opening the album, is perfectly timed: the vaguely tribal percussions give rhythm to a strange tempo dance, in which the flute, the rock guitar, the synth layers cross, question each other, measure each other, under the celestial judgment of Rick's vocal. To establish and succeed such a structure in hardly more than 6 minutes, it is a challenge. "Blood of the Rose" continues a certain dreamlike paradigm instilled by the flute melody, but on a much more aerial global tone, carried by a floydian and noticeably atmospheric guitar; we go from darkness to reverie, or almost. This is what can sometimes confuse with Rick Miller (or on the contrary, force the admiration): his music installs us in an atmosphere to extract us almost immediately, but with a surprising tonal continuity. The same logic is applied with the next track, "Castle Walls", which breaks the musical structure once again and opens a boulevard towards an emotional emphasis between melancholic oath and spiritual appeasement - with a bright melody that imposes itself to the ear, carried by the vocals and magnified by the choirs. But the masterpiece of the album is indeed "The Dark Lady": it is a concentrate of Rick Miller's know-how, a real slap in the face which is not the least surprising paradox when you know by heart the recipes he has been applying for at least 10 years. The first half is pure artist: everything is there, favorite instrumentation, cavernous vocals, rhythm breaks, diluvian guitars and promises of the end of the world. The second half is no less 'Gilmourian', but with a charge of heavy cavalry and space rock that we don't know with the Floyds. The bass is demonic, and a synthetic deluge from another world suddenly paralyzes your senses, before fading away once in unexplored limbo, to come back in force afterwards; classic conclusion taking back the theme of the beginning. But what a power! Out of the ordinary. To be discovered without delay for the followers of Gilmour's Floyd. A music both very inspired by the great standards of the post-rock of the 90s, and in a way unique in its kind. For me, to be ranked among the 5 best of Rick to date, including 'Dreamtigers', 'Angel of my Soul', 'Dark Dreams' and 'Unstuck in Time'.
 Old Souls by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Old Souls
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by Realmean

3 stars Rick Miller's work is a great continuum, which could appear melodically very accessible (and many of us will not reproach him for it!), but which deserves however much more than a distracted ear, to seize all the inflections and the subtleties.

'Old Souls' opens the ball with "Time's Way", the epic of the album, in which Rick deploys all his know-how. Against a background of rather gloomy lyrics, evoking a form of obsession with reincarnation, the song travels along a path that is by turns mysterious, tormented, obvious, and reassuring. Few composers are able to bring all this together in one piece! And yet, it all flows. "Guinevere" is a model of amorous decay, for which Rick minimizes the instrumentation to emphasize the sense of melody. "Haunt me" on the contrary embarks its share of electric guitar phrasing, in counterpoint of the atmosphere of spiritual relaxation that it distils. "Virgin Rebirth" follows in the footsteps of "The Dark Lady" ('Heart of Darkness'), with its keyboard acceleration; it takes again the spirit and the approach, while proving however much shorter! A nice spin, especially since its title could be a wink to the one of its elder... "The Red Sky" is classically 'Millerian', with a long flute introduction, which leads to an eminently melancholic and mysterious development. "Ixtlan awaits" is even more connected to its musical anteriority than "Virgin Rebirth", because it seems impossible to listen to it without hearing again the female vocals of "Call" ('Dreamtigers') ! And I would dare to say that the semantic proximity is almost blatant, because the titles of these 2 tracks could be connected: "Ixtlan awaits"... for a "Call". "A stitch in time" provides the same nervous tension as "The Land and the Sea" ('Belief in the Machine'), but with a more oriental approach. "Lost Karma" is another demonstration of esoteric or medieval poetry (with its flute and harpsichord-like guitar), and "Don Quixote" almost closes the album, giving it its second moment of bravery. An instrumental break logically Hispanic, and a development less varied than that of "Time's Way", but in which the electric guitar expresses all its bite.

Rick's music uses an incredibly rich methodology to achieve, almost every time, the same result. It is very difficult to recommend one album of Rick Miller, rather than another, to synthesize his entire work. Most of his records could completely fulfill this mission! And yet, you will miss something if you don't have the opportunity to take the bridges that link the intentions and the dreams of the composer, from one album to the other. This music is a spiritual work, vast... and complex!

 Old Souls by MILLER, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2022
3.82 | 31 ratings

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Old Souls
Rick Miller Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The following review is a satirical expose meant only to entertain and amuse, albeit with a healthy dose of sarcasm. No harm was done to any animals while writing this critique.

PROGLAND DISTRICT COURT - MONTREAL CANADA CASE No 147-22 ATTENDING JUDGE: tszirmay of the Prog Archives Legal Dept. The PROSECUTION: Ignoramus Bosch The ACCUSED: Rick Miller The CRIME: section 6b of the Prog criminal code: Blatant plagiarism of established Prog legend Pink Floyd RECENT JURISPRUDENCE: Dave Kerzner - New World

The DEFENDANT: Richard Norman Miller is a Canadian composer, arranger, and musician, starting out in 1983 and amassing a whopping 16 studio albums. His true musical inspiration is firmly entrenched in the atmospheric style of symphonic prog, with clear appreciation for artists such as Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues, Genesis and Steve Hackett. His latest opus "Old Souls" was released on January 6, 2022.

The EVIDENCE: Discography Starsong (1984), Interstellar Passage (2000), The One (2003), Dreamtigers (2004), The End of Days (2006), Angel of My Soul (2008), Falling Through Rainbows (2009), In the Shadows (2011), Dark Dreams (2012), Immortal Remains (2013), Heart of Darkness (2014), Breaking Point (2015), Delusional (2018), Belief in the Machine (2020) and Unstuck in Time (2020).

Both 2020 albums, "Unstuck in Time"and "Belief in the Machine" were stellar efforts that received the highest praise among PA panel of Collabs Tcat and kevrowland. Interesting to note that on progpositivity's review 2408326 of the latter albums, Mark clearly explains in paragraph 2 the similar aspects to PF in detail. But in paragraph 3, "This music has some differences from Pink Floyd that are worth noting" and proceeds to enumerate a fine set of factual realities that illuminates the argument for dismissal.

THE CASE: There are approximately 59,673 guitarists who have studied Gilmour as being one of the most influential of all-time, so Barry Haggarty or Kane Miller are just part of the faculty of the School of Rock and they do not disappoint throughout the recording. "Old Souls" kicks off 2022 with a brief bang that settles into an extended atmospheric voyage on "Time's Way", a languorous sweep where the electric guitar leads the way, Rick's deft keyboards and sultry hushed voice (quite different from David or Roger) in tow, a tight binary shuffle gently chaperoning. Just lovely. The charming "Guinevere" introduces a mournful cello, a galloping horse and some subtle acoustic, adding to the neo-medieval choirs and Rick's fragile voice, as pastoral as melancholia will ever get, "a tearful song" draped in the most beautiful melody. Beauty remains at the forefront with the poignant "Haunt Me", displaying a simple melodic elegance, dancing with a softly entranced lead guitar. Miller does not try to reinvent the wheel, he just expresses melody like no other, in a way more romantic fashion than the Battersea Station foursome. The somber cello echoes once again (as it will regularly again) , providing a most profound foundation for the melancholia , though on Virgin Rebirth" the pace picks up swiftly, a nimble synth motif egging the beat along , as the lead guitar wails in the blue skies above, before settling down to calm serenity. The blue skies turn red on "The Red Sky", where the classical toys enter the fray, delicate cello and flutes settle the score, as the piano eventually carves out the theme, in the most soothing and relaxed manner possible, unrushed, and mature. Rick's sorrowful vocal lament and spooky organ flurry welds with "angel's cry". Mateusz Swoboda' s cello buries the heartbeat. Celestial choruses greets " Ixtlan Awaits" , a faraway destination where there are subtle, sunny psychedelic reminders of Pompeii perhaps at the beginning , but then swerve into experimental oddity halfway through , only to rekindle the soft brightness as 'the dying sun has shone on you now', as the guitar lights up the darkening horizon.

"A Stitch in Time" is the owner of a magnificent flute refrain, adorned with sitar-like Taj Mahalian sounds, followed by a soprano synth ripple, and that tight beat keeping the heart pumping. The vocal recalls the early motif and instills a mesmerizing phrasing that edges on euphoria. Companion piece "Lost Karma" is again drenched in gorgeous melody, once again conducted by the magical flute (an instrument rarely if ever displayed by the Meddlers, who had a marked preference for the saxophone, me thinks).

"Don Quixote" is the master blaster epic on this release, clocking in over a dozen minutes, and pretty much serves to sum up all the inherent qualities of Rick Miller's music: the swooping sounds, the crystal-clear sound, the moody atmospherics, the slick flute and cello work, the sizzling guitar expressions and the rather expected Spanish guitar flourishes that seek to evoke the 'famed' windmill threat. Musical story telling at its most suggestive, with segments that clearly go beyond the frivolous and boring. The extended lead guitar solo is quite an achievement, sonic pirouettes laden with emotion and despair. To have the class of following up with acoustic guitar, percussion and cello to settle the warm Andalusian sun, well, its darn near perfect.

A reprise of the glorious first track puts the "Old Souls' to bed. The defense (the music) has spoken and now rests.

Finally, Mister Waters, in response to your incessant interference, I must state that you have made your "Money" and you are, without any known competition, the greatest political activist, narcissist millionaire and grumpy old man on social media (by your own words). You should be honored and humbled that, at least for musicians world- wide of all ages, your MUSIC remains a source of inspiration and creativity. As Pink Floyd, of course. But let's face it, Rick Miller has provided more PF music in terms of hours and minutes than you ever did in the same period of time, so please, just suck it up.

The VERDICT: NON COUPABLE (the Box's ''L'Affaire Dumoutier'' playing in the background)

4.5 Ancient spirits

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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