Rick’s biography statement notes that he has been a gigging musician for more than four decades, playing in a wide variety of bands ranging from progressive rock music to country and soul, and many in between.
On this album:
Rick Lambe: All Instruments Piano, Synths, Electric Guitars, Acoustic and 12 String Guitars, Slide Guitar and Lead and harmony Vocals
Bass: Jazz Lambe
Additional vocals supplied by Corinne & Jazz Lambe
Vocal on ‘Things Must Change’ by Kathryn Hill
Some superb symphonic progressive music:
A surpassing strength of this album is the quality of composition that allows musical depth, richness, subtlety, and beauty. Keyboards of various kinds shine. Several times, guitar work shows tasteful skill, using a variety of tones.
Interplay between guitar/synths/bass guitar was impressive and fun. The first four tracks seemed synchronous and connected to the themes Rick stated he was exploring- some of his life experiences.
I was reminded at times of Electric Light Orchestra and The Alan Parsons Project- there were some lovely harmonies, several tones of vocals to express various emotions, direct and personal lyrics written in a fairly simple fashion. Despite layers of instrumentation, sometimes the verse/chorus structure seemed fairly basic.
Several key caveats:
Because of the basic, somewhat simple structure of the lyrics and the verse/chorus work, I found myself distracted, since the gorgeous music surrounding them was technically satisfying and lovely. I always had that reaction to ELO and The Alan Parsons Project as well.
Another caveat: It seemed like this might have been the basis for two, maybe three albums. Songs 1-4 appeared cohesive and had unity. There was a great deal of powerful symphonic progressive music and satisfying instrumental passages displaying considerable skill and musicianship.
Song 5, “Things Must Change” became much more topical, and seemed a bit out of place after the first four. It is relevant- a heartfelt lament about terrorism and violence that has torn many communities and countries.
And then song 6 changed again into a lengthy suite of interconnected themes, becoming much more specifically autobiographical. A growing edge for this artist might be to conceptually tighten his focus and work with an editor and an outside, fairly impartial critic to provide some ideas and critique.
This is a well-produced, well-played set of songs, written and performed by a skilled musician who obviously knows and loves his craft and progressive rock music. The music that resonated most for me was that which sailed into symphonic progressive rock territory, displaying grandeur and beauty.
If Jazz Lambe is a relative, encourage her/him to keep playing- seemed pretty darned talented to me!
3 out of 5 grand orchestral notes.