Rick Wakeman and English Rock Ensemble
The Red Planet
What better way to lift the Corona depression that to travel to Mars with Rick Wakeman and the band. After his sojourn with the piano albums Rick has returned with a typically excellent piece of keyboard led inspiration joined by Dave Colquhoun on guitar, Lee Pomeroy on bass and Ash Soan on drums and special mention for the return of the mini moog.
Eight excellent lengthy pieces of music conclude with the masterpiece Valles Marineris where the backdrop of the valleys on the planet can be imagined. It’s many years since the classic Six Wives and Journey albums and Rick has returned to his progressive rock best, not making an Area 801 curiosity but one that brings all in to the 21st century and all that space technology brings to mind. It intermingles also his electrical keyboard genius with a sprinkling from the basic piano too.
No vocals leave for space for musical adventure across dusty red plains and gigantic mountains that is captured wonderfully where percussion, bass lines and lead guitar are prevalent. Power and precision gels with gentle and sporadic movements especially on the outro track that will leave the prog rock fan pressing the play button again.
Great to hear Rick at his progressive rock best proving that, like wine, his music gets better with age and that’s quite a statement.