Review of Cirque Surreal submitted on 6th July 1998
This is a very dynamic album, here Rick and his band (including Tony Fernandez) shows all their virtuosity. It is inspired by several circus numbers, and at this attemption the music is very creative and flows with strength, beauty and a lot of progressive rock tracks. It is highly recommended for all Rick's fans around the world.
Review of 2000AD Into The Future submitted on 15th July 1998
This album belongs to the new age phase in Rick's career, it is not a great work. It is an instrumental album played just by Rick and an electronic percussionist. The melodies are not so good as we can expect from him and it's very rhythmic to be a new age album.
Review of Aspirant Sunshadows submitted on 23rd October 1998
Closes the "Aspirant Trilogy". There's nothing else to say except that is in the same style of the other two: very relaxing music with Rick's unique style to treat the synthesizers.
Review of Live at Hammersmith submitted on 13th December 1998
A simple and very good live recording. Its repertoire is not varied because only features excerpts from his three most popular works. The "Arthur" excerpts are the best of the album. "Journey" doesn't sound very well, this version a little unexciting. If you want to buy one of his live CD's: I recommend you this one.
Review of Crimes of Passion submitted on 13th December 1998
Is this a Rock version of the "New World Symphony"??? We can't say that is an original album, because most of the melodies are taken from that Dvorak's popular work (I don't understand why in the cover says:"Music composed by Rick Wakeman"). Anyway, Rick and his band sounds very well and if you have never heard Dvorak's 9th symphony , you'll find it an excellent album.
Review of Tribute submitted on 11th May 2000
A very fun record!! Rick treats this well-known songs like if they were his owns. Its sound is not complex. Accompanied by suberb guitarist Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith, the themes and their variations get a very special effect, it's not like to hear these famous tunes one more time but to hear them refreshned. Rick plays like always, including Mini Moogs and Piano to draw the main melodies. Even Stuart Sawney's electronic drums sound very nice here. A great album to hear, specially "Blackbird", "Help", "Norwegian Wood" & "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Review of African Bach submitted on 16th August 2005
In Rick's huge catalogue, there are incredible albums that are sadly not easy to find as his most well-known works. This album is one of them. African Bach is absolutely amazing. A song-cycle in rock style, that ranks among his greatest albums ever (rock or otherwise). The subject concerns the apartheid problem of South Africa (this was recorded in the late '80s) and thus receives a highly emotional charge that impacts the listener. In addition to Rick's band of the time, it includes an authentic South African choir that enhances the "African" subject and spirit of this work. Long time collaborator Ashley Holt is superb, just like Tony Fernandez on drums. "My Homeland", "Liberty" and "Brainstorm" are among the highlights. In short: Highly recommended. If you see it, don't hesitate: Buy it!!