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Rick Wakeman - Wakeman & Cousins: Hummingbird CD (album) cover

WAKEMAN & COUSINS: HUMMINGBIRD

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

2.60 | 17 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Warning! This is not a From The Witchwood Part 2, or a Close To The Edge meets Hero And Heroine kind of album. Rather, this is a Dave Cousins solo album with minimal and quite restrained contributions from his old pal Rick Wakeman. The album is overall very low key, mellow and mainly acoustic - primarily based on grand piano and acoustic guitar. Only two of the album's tracks feature drums and Moog synthesiser, and these two tracks are also the only up tempo songs on the whole album.

The short Wakeman piano instrumentals are very subdued and not very elaborated at all. They are also not stamped with Wakeman's identity - they could indeed have been played by anyone. Only when he plays the Moog can we clearly recognize him. I somehow get the feeling while listening to the piano instrumentals that Rick just made them up while recording them (which might very well be the case too!)

As many as four of the album's tracks are re-recordings of older songs; So Shall Our Love Die was originally on the Strawbs album Nomadness from 1975 (on which Wakeman played as a guest), October to May was originally on Cousins first solo album from 1972 (on which Wakeman also played as a guest) and Stone Cold is the Woman's Heart and Forever Ocean Blue were both originally on Strawbs' Ringing Down The Years album from 1991 (on which Wakeman did not play).

Given that the instrumentals function merely as interludes and that there are several re-recorded songs, there are not many new full songs on Hummingbird. What there is, however, is not bad at all. But there is a problem with the production, the piano is too quiet and the vocals are too loud. The two up tempo songs could have been great, but they lack punch. The sound is thin and artificial.

Fans of Dave Cousins should not miss out on this album but for everyone else it is not very exciting at all.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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