Welcome to Rick Astley’s coming-out party. His new album represents the first time the skin-deep pop-soul singer has worked outside the stranglehold of his old producers, Stock-Aitken-Waterman. That power trio is known for sculpting a swirlingly ornate dance-pop sound as rigidly defined as classic Motown. Astley has coproduced this new album himself, penned most of its material, and dubbed it Free, all of which chillingly suggests we’ve got another George Michael on our hands — another likable lightweight who yearns to be taken dead seriously. Luckily Free merely substitutes one brand of blissfully shallow pop for another. His own style turns out to be less busy, and less danceable, than his old production team’s, but it’s just as energetically dippy. The album revives a hook-laden style of bubble-gum soul popular in the ’70s that treated R&B with a flip insouciance. Astley’s singing continues to be a draw; his voice is fluid, deep, and thoroughly unadorned. Astley’s entire style, in fact, is unfettered and unaffected; he’s the kind of pop lollipop that really hits the spot.
Free Welcome to Rick Astley's coming-out party. His new album represents the first time the skin-deep pop-soul singer has worked outside the stranglehold of...FreePop Welcome to Rick Astley's coming-out party. His new album represents the first time the skin-deep pop-soul singer has worked outside the stranglehold of...1991-03-29
Genre: Pop; Lead Performer: Rick Astley
Posted March 29 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
- George R.R. Martin reveals which religion inspired that 'Game of Thrones' cult
- How 50 Cent's near-fatal shooting wound up being a key part of 'Power'
- 'Game of Thrones' showrunner on why those two paths crossed now: 'this just felt right'
- 'Veep': What's next for Selina Meyer and Tom James
- Anne Meara, veteran actress and half of Stiller and Meara comedy team, dies at 85
- David Letterman tribute on Indy 500 car
- Cannes 2015: 'Dheepan' wins Palme d'Or
- Summer Movie Preview: 10 must-see documentaries
- 'Fear the Walking Dead' First Look: 7 photos from the set
- Cannes 2015: What's buzzing in film and fashion
- 'Survivor': Meet 20 alums you picked for a 'Second Chance'
- Ellie Kemper, more faces of the 2015 Webby Awards
- George & Amal, the Rock, Anne Hathaway & More!