ALBUM TITLE : 50
ARTIST : RICK ASTLEY
GENRE : POP / GOSPEL
DATE RELEASED : 2016
Rick Astley fans are celebrating because he has a new album titled 50. In a TV interview, Rick Astley was asked if his 50 album is as twice as good as Adele’s 25. And he replied that he never thought it that way and he laughed at the play with album titles. Yes, even non-fans will be curious as how Rick Astley will fare in this album. Here is a track by track review of this album.
- Keep Singing – is an uplifting song about the joy of life. This first song of the album will give idea to listeners of what this album is album; a pop album littered with Gospel influences.
Watch official video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC3Ejf7vPEY
- Angels on My Side – is a bouncy tune that will remind you of his early recordings that merges pop and R and B and this time infuse with Gospel influence. It is like listening to “Ain’t To Proud To Beg” all over again.
Watch official video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc91EfoBh8A
- Wish Away – this is probably one of the cheesiest songs I have heard in a long time. It takes about seeing silver lining everyday. The lyrics “there are billions stars in the Milkyway” is so David Pomeranz; it is like the first line of David’s song “Born For You.”
- This Old House – this song has a good song introduction. Starts with heavy bass and a whistle in the background and proceeded with uptempo beat. The song tells also about personal memory.
Watch him perform this song live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9gH32QvOo4
- Pieces – is another preachy song about facing life’s crossroads.
- God Say’s – based on the title alone, is really a gospel song with dance influence. It is like “Never Gonna Give You Up” telling people to dance with God since it is a beautiful day and the devil is heartbroken.
- I Like The Sun – the kind of song that lyrics don’t make sense at all. It has the same inconsistencies of “I’ll Be Waiting” by Clive Griffin. You know, the kind of song where you just put words just to produce a song. It’s a pity that this song has a good melody.
- Somebody Loves Me – is fashioned like a rock song and he could have used more lead guitar as musical background so that the song will not sound likea filler song.
- Let It Rain – “it is so simple when it rain” so as the first line of this song goes. The song asks that the rain will cleanse all sorrows and pains. It is a song about healing and ask God to make you absorb all the pain and sorrow instead of the other person suffering.
- Pray With Me – another Gospel song with full choir backup this time. This song has Motown influence written all over.
Listen to this song here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEjfnh8ruO0
- Coming Home Tonight – it is quite surprising that Rick Astley has many upbeat songs in this album. This track is the most radio friendly of all the bouncy tune in this record. The musical structure and the production aspect of this song can be compared with the of Duran Duran’s “Danceophobia” which is a track from their latest album “Paper Gods.”
- Let It Be Tonight – this song is like a leftover track from his “Cry For Help” album and seems like out of place considering the gospel feel of the whole album.
There are many positive factors on this album. First, it is a good thing that he did not make a revival album which most singers in his era did like Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox and even singers older than him like Bob Dylan. Second, he produced an album that really fits his age. It is a good thing that he did not relieve the 80’s glories and instead produced tracks that people from all walks of life can listen to. Third, while many of the songs are not really radio friendly, but collectively, the songs seems like a jigsaw puzzle; they fit one another, except for one or two songs. Fourth, the voice is still there.
The negative side is that the album, despite its gospel ambience, is so cheesy in terms of lyrics. The triteness of the lyrics in many of the songs may help listeners relate to the song very easily but at then end of the day, it may be a source for turnoffs. Thus, there is a huge possibility that this album will be forgotten easily.
With that, I rate this record 3 stars out of 5 stars.
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it