Review of Return To The Centre Of The Earth submitted on 25th March 1999
A perfect, seamless blend of rock, orchestra and voice with excellent production values. This album is Rick at his best with magnificent orchestration and some outstanding keyboard work (once again the LSO are made to work hard for their money!) All in al
Review of Retro submitted on 6th April 2006
For those have haven’t heard this album I thoroughly recommend it, especially if you miss those 'heady' 70's LPs. As with most Wakeman releases several plays are required to fully appreciate/take in what's on offer here and what's on offer is the best Wakey CD I've heard in ages; I don’t know if it's just me but I feel that Rick's dexterity gets lost 'in the mix' (or was it the production?) sometimes on the digital keyboard albums, if you know what I mean? On this CD the keyboards really sing - something I've really missed - prominent solos, not solos lost in the mix but ones that soar! Jemma makes an appearance on backing vocals and lead on 'Leave The Blindfold' The best way to describe her voice is as 'pure' very well trained and sweet. The only criticism that I could lay at the door of this CD is the occasional 'duff' lyric but I love this CD so much I can easily forgive its very occasional lyrical misfire...& as usual Ashley does a great job with the vocals, his voice has real character and presence. I nominate 'Can You Smell The Burning' as one of the most powerful tracks since those on the 'Six Wives' album - and that's saying something :-) Mr. Fernandez's live drumming is a treat on this CD - please Rick forget Drum machines in the future, there's no substitute for a real drum kit, it makes all the difference and really compliments the keyboard work.