Dutch progressive-rock artist EDWARD REEKERS will be releasing his first solo album in 15 Years! The Liberty Project will be released on 4 August via Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group and features contributions from Steve Hackett (Genesis), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Damian Wilson (Threshold), John’ Jaycee’ Cuijpers (Praying Mantis), Koen Herfst (Vandenberg), Cindy Oudshoorn (Kayak) and more. Listen to new song “The Present Day,” below.
Pre-order the album here: https://lnk.to/edwardreekers
Is it a rock opera, a musical, or a concept album? It’s all three wrapped up in a double album extravaganza. So, what’s it all about? Imagine there had been a second Big Bang. Would that have altered our evolution or even created a parallel world? And if so, what would that world look like? Who would be its inhabitants?
Reekers says, “I wanted to create a story within a story, so I introduced the characters, Thomas and Catherine, falling in love, splitting up and finding their way back together. With a society in turmoil around them where politicians, bankers, and journalists, amongst others, comment on the situation they’re confronted with”.
On the first song released from the album “The Present Day”, Thomas, welcomes us to his day and age. “We call the time we live in the present day, but so did the people who lived a hundred years ago, and so will the people who will live a hundred years from now,” Edward explains. “After this second Big Bang, we find ourselves in a parallel world very similar to the one we live in. The song is the first song on the album with a lead vocal. It has a powerful beginning and an almost hymn-like touch to it.”
The album is a gargantuan, sprawling piece of majesty. Reekers turned to Joost van den Broek, who he had met during his Ayreon performances, asking him to help him get the Liberty Project on its way. The collaboration turned out to be a magical one. And that’s not the only friend he’s had a little help from. It features Arjen Lucassen Ayreon), Mark Lennon (Venice), Harry Sacksioni, Damian Wilson (Threshold), John’ Jaycee’ Cuijpers (Praying Mantis), Koen Herfst (Vandenberg), Cindy Oudshoorn (Kayak) and former Genesis member Steve Hackett contributed a guitar part.
“The recording process was an overwhelming experience for me”, Reekers confesses. “We had Vandenberg’s Koen Herfst on drums, giving it his all, Mark Bogert on guitars, Johannes Adema on basses, a string section, a mixed choir and even a children’s choir. Having composed all the music and written all the lyrics for the project, it really was a dream come true for me to hear it come to life with so many great musicians and singers giving me the benefit of their wonderful talent”.
Reekers was the former lead singer of Dutch progressive-rock titans Kayak. He joined Kayak ahead of their breakout album, Phantom of the Night (1978), which featured the band’s biggest hit, “Ruthless Queen”. The band’s soaring progressive pop-rock and grandiose flourishes proved to capture the ears of fans and the album became the bands most significant commercial success. Reekers was vocalist for Kayak until their split in 1982 and then re-joined in 2005 until 2014.
He released solo albums The Last Forest (1980), Stages (1993), Child of the Water (2008) and continued to tour Europe as a backing singer with artists like Meatloaf, Oleta Adams, Bobby Kimball and even Caterina Valente, and also appearing on records and tours with several Dutch and Belgian artists as well as the legendary Demis Roussos. His solo single “The words to say I love you” was included in a soap opera in Brazil and became very popular there. He is a notable collaborator with fellow Dutch prog-rock polymath Arjen Lucassen and his Ayreon project.
As a voice actor and director of dubbing, his work can be seen in movie franchises such as Harry Potter as well as the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Fantastic Four and Disney movies such as Mulan, The Lion King II, Encanto and Pinocchio (2022), and The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie.
It may have been 15 years, but we’re presented with a grand total of 17 glorious tracks. And what immediately attracts attention is the diversity of the material. It ranges from ballads to heavy metal, pop songs, rock-orientated power tracks, genuine blues, and almost classical instrumentals. So, is it a rock opera? Yes. Is it a musical? Yes. Is it a concept album? Most definitely!
- Out of the past…(Prologue) – 02.05
- The present day – 04.09
- Two lifetimes – 04.21
- The disease – 05.08
- Good citizens – 04.36
- Liberty – 05.34
- Patients, have patience – 04.32
- The break up – 05.28
- Turn to us, learn from us – 05.05
- The clash of belief – 06.34
- Money – 06.09
- We live to die – 05.58
- Remember the fallen, celebrate life – 04.56
- Onwards and forwards – 05.07
- Never again – 02.58
- As good as any goal – 05.14
- …..into the future (Epilogue) – 03.21