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    Rick Astley

    50 6 ( 2016 )
    Keep Singing / / Angels on My Side / Wish Away / This Old House / Pieces / Dance / I Like the Sun / Somebody Loves Me / Let It Rain / Pray with Me / Coming Home Tonight / Let It Be Tonight

    Rick was a tea boy at 80s recording producing hit makers Stock Aitken And Waterman. He was offered the chance to sing and groomed to be a star. He scored a UK number one hit and eight top ten hits, remarkable for the fact absolutely nobody can remember more than one of them. '50' is his comeback set and ditches synths and pop for a more organic sound and a full band accompany him. He profited from Stock Aitken And Waterman and sold a lot of records, yet his last top 40 hit was in 1993, so nostalgia apart, who is this album aimed at? Well naturally it's aimed at Rick himself, he wants to prove he is a genuine singer and he wants to make a genuine album. Let's remember for a moment 'Never Gonna Give You Up' the highlight of Rick's career - the moment it appeared on an episode of 'Family Guy' his position in musical history was assured, alongside The Trashmen and 'Surfin Bird'. In 1990 Astley departed Stock, Aitken and Waterman and despite having written album tracks and one or two of his own hit singles was regarded as a joke by the serious music-press.

    After retiring from the music business in 1993, Rick had an unexpected recovery in 2007 thanks to the internet. YouTube users would put a link to a video purporting to be one thing, but when clicking on it, YouTube would play Rick's number one hit, 'Never Gonna Give You Up'. Millions upon millions of views of his video made him next to no money, thanks to 'YouTube' being something of a lost cause as far as bringing money to the music business is concerned. Anyway, '50' sees Rick turn 50 and is a continuation of an intermittent musical career post 1993. Song 8 is how long we must listen to this record for a song that Rick puts across powerfully - it has a grinding rhythm and he sings with a bit of genuine grit - Tom Jones type stuff. Sorry, 'This Old House' is good with a dance beat riding through that instantly proves Rick should stick to dance-pop - that's where his voice can enhance material rather than get lost or sound thoroughly generic - as it often does with the more soul oriented material. 'This Old House' if the wind was pushing in the right direction could be a genuinely modern 2016 hit single. Elsewhere, the closing 'Let It Be Tonight', generic lyrics aside and even with a whiff of the sort of material Boyzone might now make, sees Rick's voice dominate - studio production techniques and all.



    top of page this page last updated 09/05/17


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