Album Review: Are We There Yet?

Review by: Ruhi Kaneria

Artist: Rick Astley

Rating: 4/5

Rick Astley, popularly known for “Never Gonna Give You Up” is back from his 5-year hiatus with new, energized hits. Astley’s new album Are We There Yet?, released October 13th, 2023 contains 12 songs, with the standouts being“Never Gonna Stop” and “Dippin My Feet.”

“Never Gonna Stop” is a very soul-pop song with a heart of piano chords, clapping, and funky jives. Upon the first listen, the song seems like a lighthearted self-reflection on Astley’s career. However, in reality, he uses his lyrics to comment on the loss of soul and humanity due to AI in the music industry. “It’s an artificial dream of the future,” Astley sings. “Never gonna feel the same.”

The second song, “Dippin My Feet”, follows more of a groovy, country beat with twangy guitar lines. With lyrics like “Someday you may find me by the Mississippi river / Dipping my feet in the cool, cool water,” this song could easily fit into a reflective country-inspired pop road trip playlist. For listeners like me who had not been familiar with Astley’s work outside of “Never Gonna Give You Up,” these songs were a delightful surprise.

From his smooth voice to his experimentation with soul-pop and country, Astley proves he’s more thanjust a one-hit wonder.