Review | Edward Reekers – The Liberty Project

Music Theories Recordings / MLG

Edward Reekers is a well-known name in the Dutch and even international progressive and symphonic rock scene. Edward was for years the lead singer for Dutch progressive rockers Kayak and sang their biggest hit ever ,,Ruthless Queen’’. He recorded three solo-albums, has been a regular guest on several Ayreon-albums and concerts, did a lot of session work, is a voice over actor and has done numerous jingles for Dutch companies like HEMA. I can also remember his voice in a commercial telling people to buy some flowers more often. It has been some fifteen years since he last released a solo-album but the one he is releasing on August 4 will be by far his most prestigious and most epic achievement ever.


‘The Liberty Project’ features the best of three worlds. It is a musical, it is an opera and a concept album wrapped up in a double album release. Reekers has written all music and lyrics himself, but got some outside help as well. Mister Ayreon Arjen Lucassen pops in, as does keyboardist Joost van den Broek, bass player Johannes Adema, Vandenberg skin basher Koen Herfst while the bulk of the guitar work has been supplied by Mark Bogert (G30/Knight Area), who at stages absolutely steals the show. A prominent guest is also there in the person of Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis) who contributes a great solo for the track ,,The Clash Of Belief’’, a song that comes extremely close to a mini-opera. Hackett’s solo provides the song with an extra dimension steering the track into the rock direction.


Although being a first class vocalist himself Edward Reekers has shared his songs around with other singers such as Damian Wilson (Arena), his old Kayak-colleague Cindy Oudshoorn (looking after the more ‘angelic’ type of singing), Venice singer Mark Lennon, Praying Mantis powerhouse John ‘Jaycee’ Cuijpers and Dutch voice-actor Marcel Jonker (been active in several operas) who gives the song ,,Money’’ a quite unique character with his ‘spoken word’ performance. Edward’s voice is still as beautiful and recognisable as ever before, so it is safe to say that together with all the vocal arrangements, the choirs (even a kid’s choir) the singing on this project is far beyond par. Some pieces are just stunning, yes, maybe even mind blowing.


This album has multiple musical layers. You can find heavy rock, symphonic rock, progressive rock, a touch of pop and even a track that takes you back to the middle ages (,,Remember The Fallen, Celebrate Life’’). The diversity is big, the changes in tempo and moods are flabbergasting, the instrumentation is rich. I know that concept-albums are sometimes ten a penny but ,,The Liberty Project’’ is a different kettle of fish.

The main characters in this story are Thomas and Catherine, who find each other, fall in love, get separated but come together in the end. The way Reekers tells the story and the way he has wrapped it into and surrounded it with music that goes all over the place, is entertaining and reasonably easy to follow. It all sounds more complicated than it really is. The listener can identify him- or herself with the central theme on this record: freedom (one of the most important things in the world).


What kind of audience is Reekers aiming for you might wonder? Although the variety is immense, I think that the singer/composer will find people that like his old band Kayak but also Ayreon will very much appreciate his dream come true, ‘The Liberty Project’ an attractive piece of work where they can sink their teeth into. It might take a spin or two perhaps but your reward will be rich and utterly entertaining! As I said, it sounds more complicated than it is. A great release from Dutch soil and like I stated this is the best Edward Reekers has ever produced!

Release date: 4 August 2023



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