Return To The Centre Of The Earth (Dig)


aec.wrnt62879.2 7/29/14 New
$10.49 $13.99

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    Return To The Centre Of The Earth (Dig) Music Fusion

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Review Text Twenty-five years after the release of Rick Wakeman's groundbreaking Journey to the Centre of the Earth album, a sequel entitled Return to the Centre of the Earth was released, this time including a who's who of musicians and vocalists. Still employing the London Symphony Orchestra to accompany his plethora of keyboards, Wakeman uses Patrick Stewart of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame to narrate the story and former Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin for some spicy solos. But, even with famed vocalists like Justin Hayward, Bonnie Tyler, and Ozzy Osbourne in the spotlight, the music gets lost in fields of pretentious instrumental clamoring and strays far from Wakeman's intentional story line. Not enough time is given to enjoy Wakeman's artistry because of an overabundance of other instruments and unnecessary hubbub that disappointingly drown out his synthesizers. When Wakeman is caught playing, he falls short of his polished self, sounding rushed and irregular. His first Journey album sounded clean and finessed, thanks to simple organization and the fact that the focal point was aimed at his masterful keyboard playing. On the Return album, the music is louder, messier, and somewhat musically obtuse since it contains too many fragments of instruments, almost sounding like heavy metal at times. Even Patrick Stewart seems to be a little too long-winded throughout most of the album's duration. If programmed properly, the disc can be heard in the narrative only, or just the instrumentals. Wakeman's idea for a sequel was a good one, but he should have kept to his crisp progressive formula. Instead, the album falls prey to an evident case of overproduction and a classic example of the "too many cooks" cliché. ~ Mike DeGagne

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Vision - 3:33
  2. 2. Return Overture - 3:39
  3. 3. Mother Earth: The Shadow of June/The Gallery/The Avenue of Prismed Light/The Earthquake - 4:48
  4. 4. Buried Alive - 6:00
  5. 5. Enigma - 1:18
  6. 6. Is Anybody There? - 7:34
  7. 7. Ravine - 1:49
  8. 8. Dance of a Thousand Lights - 6:40
  9. 9. Shepherd - 2:00
  10. 10. Mr. Slow - 4:47
  11. 11. Bridge of Time - 1:11
  12. 12. Never Is a Long, Long Time - 5:18
  13. 13. Tales from the Lidenbrook Sea: River of Hope/Hunter and Hunted/Fight for Life - 3:57
  14. 14. Kill - 5:22
  15. 15. Timeless History - 1:10
  16. 16. Still Waters Run Deep - 5:20
  17. 17. Time Within Time: The Ebbing Tide/The Electric Storm - 3:39
  18. 18. Ride of Your Life - 6:01
  19. 19. Floating: Globes of Fire/Cascades of Fear - 2:59
  20. 20. Floodflames - 2:59
  21. 21. Volcano: Tongues of Fire/The Blue Mountains - 2:10
  22. 22. End of the Return - 5:25

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