Zodiaque

Rick Wakeman & Tony Fernandez

President / Relativity Records, 1988

REVIEW BY: Eric E5S16

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/16/2002

Rick Wakeman IS A GOD...

Many may remember Rick Wakeman as the founding keyboardist for the rock band Yes, but what most people do not know, is that his solo output is truly incredible. His love of music is in the category of Classical, and with many releases in this genre, he could easily be ranked with the likes of Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven, etc. As many Classical albums that he has, his interest in solo albums have also been in genres such as Rock and New Age. From Wakeman's New Age Collection, is the 1988 release with Zodiaque, an album he recorded with drummer Tony Fernandez, whom has collaborated on many of Wakeman's many solo releases. The 12 songs contained on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Zodiaque is a look at astrology, and how Wakeman interprets each month's sign.

The opening track, "Sagittarius," is a great mix of New Age and Progressive Rock. Full of energy, this tune is a great way to open an album. Another energetic tune in this same style is "Aquarius," a song that could easily fit a soundtrack dealing with Medieval Times. "Aries"has just enough New Age mixed with the Progressive Rock keyboards heard in many of Wakeman's years with Yes. "Taurus" is another example of New Age energy, and great for an opening theme song for sporting events, or a particular radio show.

"Capricorn" is simply beautiful, consisting of mood New Age music, similar to his Aspirant Trilogy Series, likewise the styles of Mannheim Steamroller, Yanni, and Enigma. Another great tune in this same style, is "Cancer" -- the piano is just beautiful and relaxing. And we can say the same for "Libra," another great relaxing composition.

"Gemini" is an upbeat jazzy number, and you can't help but snapping your fingers along with Wakeman's keyboard main verses. World Music best describes >"Leo," as it mixes New Age with African beats, yet it still fits the New Age style. "Virgo" has a relaxing calliope atmosphere.

Great mood music continues with "Pisces" -- this one you can actually imagine watching the fish swim in easy fashion. The album's closing song, "Scorpio" has beautiful piano, and very relaxing mood music.

Zodiaque has the great ingredients of New Age Music. Featuring great romantic mood music, a little bit of Progressive Rock, and just a touch of jazz and calliope makes this album very enjoyable and highly recommended. This release is all instrumental, and showcases Wakeman's incredible keyboard works. His music can easily match the likes of other New Age talent, such as Mannheim Steamroller and Yanni. In the U.S., his music is very hard to find. He is most popular in England, being a native Briton. Why his music is not as popular here in the U.S. is beyond me. His solo work is just outstanding, and the only way to purchase his his work is through Ebay. His solo releases has grown past 50 albums, since his departure from Yes. And collecting his work is worth the investment.

Rating: A

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© 2002 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of President / Relativity Records, and is used for informational purposes only.