While the only time you may ever think of Rick Astley is when you're getting Rick Roll'd, there's a man behind the meme. His new music isn't the infamous 80s pop you may know him for, but rather, Rick Astley brings passion in Beautiful Life, a weathered look back at some of the warmer moments of his life.
There's something simply infectious about the way Astley sings. His timbre fits perfectly with his flowing melodies that combine to make almost tangibly sweet tracks. The opening song is title track 'Beautiful Life,' bringing the record to a warm start with a U2-like intro and infectious grooves and melodies. 'Chance To Dance' takes it a step further by adding a cool, aged swagger into the mix and a groove that simply invites you to dance along. The same sort of swagger returns later on in 'Better Together,' with a darker, tantalizing vibe as Astley croons, "I know we're better together, oh what a mess we've made."
While Beautiful Life is a textbook definition of adult contemporary, there's is quite a bit of diversity in the record that does give it some crossover potential. 'Last Night On Earth' digs into some country tones and gives off some soulful, homegrown vibes to kick off the "different" tracks. Astley then takes on a bluesier mood in 'Every Corner,' before getting intimate in 'I Need The Light,' which is a truly honest track you might not have expected. There are actually some sad songs in the same vein as this track, like the hopelessly optimistic 'Rise Up' and closing track 'The Good Old Days,' which has a dark vibe that reminisces about times that won't come back.
Rick Astley brings passion in Beautiful Life, being honest and reflective about his own life. It's an album that has a bit of weather to it, but in just the right way to give it that right pop appeal. It's certainly not making any memes happen.
Favorite Track: Rise Up
Least Favorite Track: She Makes Me
Rating: 70 / 100
Stream or buy Beautiful Life on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: