RICK WAKEMAN

(UNITED KINGDOM)

A GALLERY OF THE IMAGINATION

(2023)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

POP

/ ROCK
TAGS:
Fusion
"With "A Gallery of the Imagination", Rick Wakeman shares with us little pieces of life through songs with a wide variety of music."
CORTO1809 (13.03.2023)  
3/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Rick Wakeman is such a prolific musician that his solo albums have been countless. "A Gallery of the Imagination" would be approximately the eighty-first, not to mention the numerous live albums, box sets and compilations. A staggering number! Its predecessor, "The Red Planet", was both totally instrumental and very homogeneous. "A Gallery of the Imagination" is the opposite.

This time, Rick Wakeman decided to share with us little moments of his life, postcards from his memories and his travels: holidays at the sea when he was a child, a concert in Cuba, the world he would like to leave to his grandchildren... so many disparate themes giving disparate songs. Songs for which he leaves the listener free to imagine what he will like, hence the title of the album.

Some of the tracks turn out to be moderately interesting ('The Dinner Party', despite its lively tempo and dance motif, quickly goes round in circles, 'A Day Spent on the Pier' distils a mawkish pop soundtrack resembling an American Christmas movie), But these are fortunately counterbalanced by much more exhilarating compositions (the exotic 'A Mirage in the Clouds', the atmospheric and melancholic delicacy of 'Only When I Cry', the sombre 'The Visitation'). The album thus alternates between pop, prog, lounge, classical and salsa in an inspiration that has its ups and downs.

As usual, The English Rock Ensemble efficiently supports the master of the house who officiates on all sorts of keyboards, the piano being much more present this time than on 'The Red Planet'. The vocals are also much more present (and for good reason, "The Red Planet" being entirely instrumental). Hayley Sanderson, already heard on the re-recordings of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" (2012) and "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur" (2016), gives her voice on eight tracks, a velvet voice that most of the time settles the listener in a cosy but sometimes melancholic atmosphere, and even surprising in its resemblance with Kate Bush's intonations on her first albums ('The Visitation').

These vocal lines give the album a warm and easily approachable side reinforced by compositions that don't have the ambition to carry philosophical statements about how the world is going, but just to be pieces of life inflated sometimes with joy, sometimes with reverie. Amputated from a few dispensable tracks, "A Gallery of the Imagination" turns out to be a very pleasant album.
- Official website

TRACK LISTING:
01. Hidden Depths (04:34)
02. The Man in the Moon (05:10)
03. A Mirage in the Clouds (05:46)
04. The Creek (03:47)
05. My Moonlight Dream (07:11)
06. Only When I Cry (04:10)
07. Cuban Carnival (04:13)
08. Just a Memory (03:14)
09. The Dinner Party (03:56)
10. A Day Spent on the Pier (04:46)
11. The Visitation (05:00)
12. The Eyes Of A Child (03:55)

LINEUP:
Ash Soan: Batterie
Dave Colquhoun: Guitares
Hayley Sanderson: Chant
Lee Pomeroy: Basse
Rick Wakeman: Claviers
   
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