RICK WAKEMAN – A Gallery Of The Imagination (2023)

RICK WAKEMAN - A Gallery Of The Imagination (2023) - full

Keyboard legend RICK WAKEMAN will release his new concept album ‘A Gallery Of The Imagination’ on 24th February 2023 via Madfish Records. The conception of the album began at the age of five. Rick’s childhood piano teacher, Mrs Symes, taught him that musicians with instruments are like an artist with paint; something that Rick carried through his life, creating sonic paintings through his composition.
Just as you might find a vast array of styles in an art gallery, Wakeman presents a plethora of musical aesthetics throughout the record. Inspired by the menagerie he created; Rick recalled the advice of his beloved teacher & has presented these tracks as pictures in a gallery; ”A Gallery Of The Imagination”.
This concept album is a diverse affair, featuring Prog pieces with soaring Moog solos, impressive piano pieces and eight vocal tracks featuring velvety singer Hayley Sanderson.

There’s an aura of simplicity surrounding the compositional choices of this album, but the small nuances and inflexions demonstrate it to be undoubtedly Rick.
”A Gallery of the Imagination” starts with Hidden Depths, an instrumental number that slowly builds and builds setting the scene for the record. Starting off with a gentle piano intro, before slowly building and building into a straight-forward, but satisfying groove driven by the bass and drums. Accompanied by a mellow synth solo, this track is possibly the most traditionally Rick Wakeman track on the album in terms of representing his solo material’s style in a shorter burst.

The Man In The Moon is the first track on the album to feature Hayley’s buttery vocals in a slow 70s-style rock ballad. It continues on with the mellow theme of this record but also gives us a new genre flavour as Rick originally depicted in the album’s concept.
One of my favourite tracks has to be Cuban Carnival for the rhythm style of composition that Rick chose to incorporate. It’s a style that off the top of my head, he’s not experimented with extensively before inside of his compositional work, but it’s certainly a welcome one here.

I’ve also found myself being a big fan of The Dinner Party – the playful nature of this track where the synths interact between the grooving basslines, and catchy melodies layer over the to during the chorus have become engrained into my mind. Between each chorus, Rick has a gentle noodle at his synth – effectively leaving the structure of this number as of a jam track with Rick as the primary soloist. Although we do get a sneaky guitar solo too.

Leading into the end of this album, A Day Spent On The Pier creates a more lounge feel. This is another example of a simple yet touching composition, which is exactly what I’ve come to love from Rick in recent years.
And with that, we close with The Eyes Of A Child. Maybe the most sombre of all the tracks, focusing in mostly on Rick’s acoustic piano accompanied from Hayley. It’s a very pretty track to finish with, but moving all the same.

”A Gallery of the Imagination” is a quaint and cosy album – and whilst it’s not Rick’s most prolific work in his monstrous discography, it has earned its place as being something that’s a little different, a little unique, and muted.
Music doesn’t always have to be flashy, and this album certainly isn’t. But where it lacks in pizzazz, it more than makes up for it with its emotive and clever compositions.
Rick hasn’t got anything to prove, we all know what he can do. And with this release, he’s put together a moving piece of art designed to evoke a range of emotions in the listener – and to that, he has absolutely succeeded.
Highly Recommended


01 – Hidden Depths
02 – The Man in the Moon
03 – A Mirage in the Clouds
04 – The Creek
05 – My Moonlight Dream
06 – Only When I Cry
07 – Cuban Carnival
08 – Just A Memory
09 – The Dinner Party
10 – A Day Spent on the Pier
11 – The Visitation
12 – The Eyes of a Child

Hayley Sanderson – vocals
Rick Wakeman – all keyboards
Lee Pomeroy – bass
Dave Colquhoun – guitar
Ash Soan – drums



You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.