Friday, July 19, 2024

Edward Reekers – The Liberty Project

Edward Reekers is probably best known in prog circles for a couple of reasons, one being he was the frontman for Dutch band Kayak on two separate occasions running for around thirteen years, singing on their big hit ‘Ruthless Queen,’ and also as a notable collaborator with Dutch polymath Arjen Lucassen on the various Ayreon projects .. not to mention his Dutch language voice-overs in films like Harry Potter and Mulan!

The Liberty Project is Reekers’ first solo release since 2008’s Child Of The Water and has been described as a ‘rock opera, a musical and a concept album.’ It features some stellar musical talent helping out, notably Steve Hackett, Damian Wilson and Arjen Lucassen. What’s the Liberty Project about? This is where the notion of a concept album rears its head. Reekers explains: “Imagine there’s been a second big bang .. would this have altered our evolution or even created a parallel world? What would this world have looked like? Who would be its inhabitants?”  These are the questions being asked all the way through, and in the midst of all this are the main participants, Thomas and Catherine, who fall in love, split up and then find their way back together again ‘in a society in turmoil.’

However, this album is more of a musical than a concept album, given the sheer diversity of styles utilised throughout, and it’s quite easy imagining the various strands on this album as the backdrop to something being acted out on a stage, given the diversity of what’s on offer, ranging from power ballads to classic rock, a string section and a mixed choir. Reekers, who wrote all the music and the lyrics, draws from the classics with opening instrumental piece, ‘Out Of The Past,’ whereas his work with Arjen Lucassen is prominent in ‘The Present Day,’ featuring Damian Wilson, and The Disease, which is pure Ayreon with its synths and guitar shredding. More tracks like this would have made the Liberty Project a better album. ‘Good Citizens’ has the feel of Kayak, while ‘The Break Up,’ with its cheesy sax opener, and ‘Two Lifetimes’ both sound like a reach back to the eighties. There’s a choir singing vocals on ‘The Clash Of Belief’ and on ‘Money,’ there are some excellent counterpoint vocals and choir on what is one of the album’s standout tracks.

Overall, The Liberty Project is a good album with some fine performances, but it lacks any real ‘flow’ or cohesion, and it’s tempting to imagine what Arjen Lucassen might have done with this project.

Laurence Todd
Laurence Todd
Took early retirement after many years as a teacher in order to write books as well as about music. A long-time music obsessive, has wide and eclectic tastes but particularly likes prog rock and rock in general. Enjoys going to gigs and discovering new acts.

Our site contains articles about Gambling. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling-related problems, contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 1333. Free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

three + five =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RAMzine is proud to support The Mike James Rock Show!

Latest Articles

Edward Reekers is probably best known in prog circles for a couple of reasons, one being he was the frontman for Dutch band Kayak on two separate occasions running for around thirteen years, singing on their big hit 'Ruthless Queen,' and also as a...Edward Reekers - The Liberty Project