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It’s been 36 years since he first shot to fame, yet Rick Astley is now arguably a more prominent force in popular culture than he ever was. The endearingly boyish 57-year-old is still winning over new fans, whether he’s performing with Foo Fighters, Take That or Blossoms, becoming an unlikely social media sensation, or simply embracing the unending love that greets his era-defining smash Never Gonna Give You Up which was boosted by its use in an intensely affecting scene inTed Lasso. Indeed, since returning to #1 in 2016 with50, Rick has enjoyed the strongest run of album chart positions of his entire career.
It’s been the journey of a lifetime, yet the road ahead of him remains open for further exploration - the next stop being the release of his long awaited ninth studio album Are We There Yet? in October 2023.
Are We There Yet? is the sound of Rick
reflecting and building upon the experiences he’s gone through since the release of2018’s Beautiful Life. Some of the new songs were started during lockdown in 2020, but he decided to leave them deliberately unfinished until it was feasible to play them live again. 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.
As with50 and Beautiful Life, the album was entirely written, recorded and produced by Rick at his home studio in south-west London. He performed almost everything you hear throughout the record, the only exceptions being brass, keyboards and some backing vocals. As a result, Are We There Yet? shows that Rick is still pushing to reach even greater musical heights, in the process guaranteeing entertainment and joy on record, on stream, on radio and on stage.