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Rick Miller: Dark Dreams (2012)

Written by: Kev Rowland

2012’s ‘Dark Dreams’ saw a new flautist in Nancy Foote, but apart from that the line-up was the same as for ‘In The Shadows’. From the very first song, “Return To Uqbar” there is the impression that Miller is taking a step to move slightly out of his comfort zone. Although for the most part the Floydian and symphonic elements are still here, but here he is definitely pushing the boundaries of his own musical envelope, from the sue of middle eastern influences through to harsher guitar solos and a brooding darkness that sits underneath the music. There is a far greater sense of dynamics on this album, and I can see why it has gained more popularity among critics than the two albums which preceded it. Me, I thought they were incredible pieces of art as they were, and there was no need for change, but this allows the listener to hear a different side of Miller. As well as highly complex layers, he is also content here to put vocals against piano and cello in a way that is more reminiscent of acoustic and folk acts that someone who is generally thought of as being a crossover prog musician.

There is definitely a confidence in the album, as one would expect from someone who has been consistent both in his musical approach and in the personnel he has used on his albums, of which this was his ninth. As with his previous album, this was released in a gatefold sleeve with all the lyrics and an inner, just as if it had been put out on vinyl and been backed by a major record label. It certainly deserves that approach as yet again this is an album of real majestic symphonic melodic delight. I rarely see Rick’s name mentioned on the multiple progressive groups I belong to, which is a massive oversight, as he has consistently produced wonderful albums which I can listen to repeatedly with great pleasure each and every time.

Rating: 10/10

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Track list:
1. Return To Uqbar
2. Angels In The Forest
3. When The Evening Comes
4. Whispers
5. The Transcension
6. Quiet Desperation
7. Hear The Ocean Roar
8. Man Out Of Time
9. The One (Reincarnate)

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Links:
https://www.facebook.com/Rick-Miller-243367182533/
http://www.mals.ru/

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