Rick Wakeman: Return to the Centre of the Earth

A disappointment.

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My Rating

Three out of ten.

I'd have given it a slightly higher rating if they had left out the narrative.

My review

The story is a musical sequel to the artist's original "Journey to the Centre of Earth" and it tells the tale of an expedition in which another set of explorers follow the footsteps of all of the earlier ones. Musically, there are some references back to the earlier work but this is by no means a mere rehashing.

The worst thing about this CD is the narrative which is overblown and turgid and it really just drags on and on. Well, you do get almost an hour's music and just over twenty minutes of narrative so, if your CD player will do it, you can follow the instructions on the sleeve notes to listen only to the music.

So, given that, how does the music rate on it's own? Well, first of all, unlike the original work, the music seems to bear little relationship to the narrative so you can certainly do not need the narrative to explain the music.

The music is pretty well what you'd expect from a mixture of a small number of rock musicians, a symphony orchestra and a choir. In style, it is of course quite similar to the original "Journey" but not so interesting. It's nice enough to listen to but just not special and it doesn't have anything to say. It's the sort of music that you would expect to hear as the theme to a TV drama series that is taking itself too seriously.