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Are We There Yet?

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It’s been fun watching Astley transcend his pop background and achieve a credibility that would have been unimaginable in his Smash Hits pomp. A simple, unadorned piano ballad, Blue Sky, speaks of the natural serenity that came from lockdown, but it’s a set that draws upon an eclectic array of inspirations. Es geht um Gefühle und Emotionen und so weiter, denn ich kann keinen Song schreiben, in dem es heißt: „Ich möchte dir einfach nur nahe sein.

Rick Astley – Are We There Yet? (2023, CD) - Discogs Rick Astley – Are We There Yet? (2023, CD) - Discogs

But he knows that gimmicks can only get you so far, and it is to his credit that he plays it straight on Are We There Yet? Inspired by the music of American greats like Marvin Gaye and Al Green, Are We There Yet is a love letter to the blues and soul music Astley grew up on. I think the sounds on this record, certainly the guitar parts, have been influenced by being in America for that length of time. There is no attempt to capitalise on his “ironic” stardom or, cheekier yet, chuck in some Smiths covers.Der Grundstein für dieses lässige, von Americana beeinflusste Album wurde während einer US-Tournee mit Salt-N-Pepa, En Vogue und New Kids On the Block im Jahr 2022 gelegt. Es ist ein bisschen FleetwoodMac drin, einfach weil ich letzten Sommer, als wir in Amerika waren, so viel FleetwoodMac gehört habe. Ich glaube, die Klänge auf diesem Album, vor allem die Gitarrenparts, wurden von dieser langen Zeit in Amerika inspiriert. I thought, ‘This is a bit weird, there’s no way I can do that,’ so I wrote a completely different chorus and I played it to some close friends and they all said, ‘You have to go back to that one,’ so I stuck with it.

Are We There Yet? (Rick Astley album) - Wikipedia

I noticed things that I hadn’t noticed before, and it just made me think about life, but also that some people aren’t having this experience, some people are literally going through the worst thing possible.This has got a tiny bit of a Rolling Stones thing in certain parts of it, in the chords and the middle eight. This is probably the most contentious one on the album because of the lyrical bit of, ‘Throw me on the sofa, tie me to a chair, scratch me with your nails and pull my hair. Also habe ich einen völlig anderen Refrain geschrieben und ihn einigen engen Freund:innen vorgespielt, und alle sagten: „Du musst bei dem anderen bleiben“, und das hab ich gemacht. Jene basieren hauptsächlich auf dem 80er-Jahre-Repertoire des „Never Gonna Give You Up“-Stars, wie etwa seine überschwängliche Performance beim Glastonbury 2023 zeigte.

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