(22 December 2002) The first recording to emerge from the collaboration of Oliver Wakeman and Rachel Heffer is a 4-track advanced and limited edition EP from their forthcoming album Anam Cara. The team performed selections from The House Of The Baskervilles with their band most recently at the Classic Rock Society Best Of The Year awards in Rotherham to vast acclaim.
Oliver Wakeman's piano and keyboards are perfectly complimented by Rachel's stunning crystalline voice. The lineup is completed by Landmarq's Dave Wagstaffe (drums), Tim Buchanan (bass) and David Mark Pearce (guitar). The EP opens with the title track, a steady ballad featuring layers of Rachel's crystalline vocals supporting her lead and classical Wakeman-style piano-based instrumentation. The blending of styles is perfectly illustrated by the robust guitar solo during the bridge.
The EP continues with the rocker "Instead Of My Fear" which blends keyboards with robust guitar excursions that support Rachel's crystalline vocals. Another gentle ballad that would be equally at home in the West End as on this EP is entitled "1000 Autumns." In addition to the piano melodies in the verses, rich synth washes add texture to the chorus. We especially enjoyed Rachel's vocalise during the bridge. The additional instrumental solos are equally stunning.
A stunning reprise and extended arrangement of "The View From Here" concludes the EP. We especially appreciated the crispness of the harp and Rachel's additional vocal layers as well as the extended Celtic-style keyboard solo.
Interested visitors should see our review of the Nolan/Wakeman album Jabberwocky and also our review of their follow-up The Hound Of The Baskervilles. Also check out our review of the Rachel and Common Ground recordings Rachel Common Ground and A Blonde Moment. Our review of Rachel and Common Ground's latest album Head 2 Head and Fabulous is also online.
This limited edition EP is available my mail order or the internet. Visit Oliver Wakeman's website (click on CD cover artwork) for further details. It is worth a trans-Atlantic journey and is a must listen!