Speak Peace by Rick Sparks

Album Review by New Age CD and New Age Notes Radio Staff

The 8th studio album from pianist/composer, Rick Sparks, “Speak Peace” is 11 tracks, and about 45 minutes, of quiet, peaceful music that Rick created with the hope and intention that our collective spirits may be lifted and rejuvenated after all humanity has been through the past few years.

Rick started creating the album in January 2022, before the war in Ukraine broke out.  A few months ago, he released the lead single for the album, “Prayer for Ukraine,” which is an elegant, synth orchestrated piece, opening with a somber solo cello melody line, and gently building into lovely angelic choirs and calming piano. The cover art for the single is a photo of a Ukraine bride wearing traditional wedding clothing and carrying bouquet of flowers, thus evoking a return to a sense of innocence and purity. All proceeds from the single are being donated to World Vision’s Ukraine relief fund.

The album begins with the title track, which is full of strings and calming angelic choirs. The song sets the stage for the quietude and peace that follows throughout this lovely album.

Next up is a cover of Neil Young’s, “Harvest Moon,” which is a tribute to everlasting love. Rick’s version is light and airy, with flute, soft bells, synth, and angelic choir.  This is very soothing to the psyche.

“Little Princess” has a music-box, lullaby feel to it with its bells, choirs, and very pleasant melody. Again, very calming to the spirit, this is a tribute to innocence and joy. Our own is easy to re-capture here.

Dragonflies are mystical creatures that elicit feelings of wonder and magic. “Dragonfly Dance” captures these sentiments wonderfully well. Light, airy, flowing, with gentle piano arpeggios mixed with angelic voices, this piece is good for whatever ails you.

A favorite on this album is “A Love That Lasts.” This is really beautiful in every way. A very pretty, tender piano melody with very soft angel choir underneath and gentle strings, make this definitely one for the playlist.

You know that quiet end of the day feeling when you just start winding everything down? “End of the Day,” one of two piano solo pieces here (The lovely “1912 Waltz” being the other), perfectly portrays this quietude and peace. One can feel the serenity seeping deeply into their soul. Let the unwinding begin.

Rick’s strong faith in Christ shines through in “We Wait Upon the King,” which was inspired by the Biblical prophecy in Revelation that Christ will someday return to earth as King. This is ethereal and softly revitalizing, with flute, synth, strings, and sweet angel choirs. Very nicely done.

The album closes with the well-known, bittersweet, “Auld Lang Syne, which is a tribute to friendships of days gone by. The perfect close, we are invited to cherish life on every level. Beautiful. May the peace be with you. . .

Get it/listen here: https://ricksparksmusic.net/latest-release

Official artist website: www.ricksparksmusic.net

Broadcast/media promotion:

LAZZ Promotions: Ed & Stacey Bonk

E-mail: [email protected]