Everybody loves a bit of ’80s pop icon Rick Astley. From your mum to Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, there is something about “our Rick” that makes pop fans the world over go weak at the knees. For over twenty years the pop world was deprived of his soulful crooning and his boyish good looks but, back in April 2016, Rick announced his return and, since then, “Rickmania” has showed no sign of slowing down nor does it with the release of his new album “Beautiful Life” and another collection of songs featuring his heart-melting voice.

Kicking off with the sassy title track, “Beautiful Life” shows that, even at 53 years old, Astley still has that class that comes not from some record company rulebook but from being the real deal. Furthermore, the diversity of the material on “Beautiful Life” goes onto showcase how, not only does Astley have the looks and the voice, but he also has the talent and confidence to create albums with such depth. From upbeat pop tunes to soulful ballads, from acoustic numbers to funky groovers, “Beautiful Life” is an album full of surprises around each corner. Slower numbers like “Shivers” nestle comfortably alongside more upbeat tracks like “I Need The Light” while the acoustic guitar is whipped out for offerings like “Last Night On Earth” and the wonderful “Empty Heart”. Quite honestly, as “Beautiful Life” progresses, you can’t help but feel that whichever way this album twists or turns next, the end result is going to be nothing short of magical.

Made famous by his ’80s chart-smashing hits like “Together Forever” and “Never Gonna Give You Up”, Astley has never forgotten those pop roots although, as was evident on his comeback album “50”, the modern day Astley is far from just another cog in the wheel of the pop industry. “Beautiful Life” is a wonderful album of diversity and depth, while Astley’s voice simply gets better with time.

Track Listing:

1. Beautiful Life
2. Chance To Dance
3. She Makes Me
4. Shivers
5. Last Night On Earth
6. Every Corner
7. I Need The Light
8. Better Together
9. Empty Heart
10. Rise Up
11. Try
12. The Good Old Days

Rating: 8/10

Rick has announced an album launch show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz on July 17 and follows this up with a previously announced UK arena tour for October.

17 Jul – O2 Ritz, Manchester
25 Oct – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow
26 Oct – Hull Venue
27 Oct – Manchester Arena
29 Oct – Sage, Gateshead
30 Oct – Sage, Gateshead
1 Nov – Pavilions, Plymouth
2 Nov – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
3 Nov – Brighton Centre
5 Nov – Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
6 Nov – Corn Exchange, Cambridge
8 Nov – Eventim Apollo, London
9 Nov – Eventim Apollo, London
10 Nov – Bournemouth International Centre
12 Nov – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
13 Nov – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
15 Nov – Genting Arena, Birmingham
16 Nov – First Direct Arena, Leeds
17 Nov – Echo Arena, Liverpool

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