Rick Astley fans have been waiting a long time for this album. We’ve had other albums in between this and the first heady, brilliant pieces we got in the late 80s / early 90s, but THIS is the one we knew would come if we waited. We knew Rick had this in him, and that it was only gonna take some time for him to get it out. Back in the early days, most of us fans were just teenagers, although there’s a whole host of newer generation fans now too. With the release of 50, which is in conjunction with Rick’s 50th birthday, we fans are validated in the fact that we know Rick has grown up with us. He’s not that young guy any more, but neither are we and this marks our coming of age in the most spectacular way.
I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been feeling a bit spiritually dry or cynical about the world in general, but I find the fact that Rick has made a spiritual album incredibly profound. When you think about it, it’s a no brainer, because his voice is perfectly suited to spiritualism. And while it’s not *quite* gospel, it throws me back to thoughts of Elvis gospel with choirs and soul. There is something in this album that speaks to everyone. At the same time, you find yourself tapping along and thinking “I can dance to this”. There is no song on this album that has simply been thrown in as an album filler.
There is something different and special about this. Whether it’s because Rick now has more artistic control over his work, there is something in this which is just a notch above everything else out there at the moment. If you haven’t got the album, you’ve probably already heard Keep Singing on the radio. Yes, that’s Rick. Angels on My Side too. But (unless they’re released as a single), you’re gonna have to buy the album to hear songs like ‘Somebody Loves Me’. I’m mentioning that one in particular because that’s the one that I can’t get out of my mind. Because quite often I DON’T hold on to the feeling that somebody loves me. Here’s Rick telling me to remember that somebody does. Rick’s singing about things that I feel, and things that mean something to me in my life right now.
Even in the many interviews he’s doing, Rick is going into places where he hasn’t been before and sharing more with us. The mention of a brother he’d had who passed away before Rick was born, and the fact that he went into music in order to cope with his parents’ divorce is incredibly profound and meaningful to me.
With #50 Rick is on a winner, and the public can tell – the fact that it’s currently at No 2 on the British album charts indicates that we’re ready and willing to welcome this album with open arms. If you buy it expecting Never Gonna Give You Up, you’ll probably be a bit surprised. But I’m willing to bet that it will be pleasantly so.
You can buy a signed copy of the album from his website, in retail outlets in the UK and / or from iTunes.
On Twitter, the hashtag to use is #RickAstley50.