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Angel Thompson
Angel Thompson

The Alan Parsons Project I

Please note that The Time Machine, On Air and Try Anything Once are not by The Alan Parsons Project, and should be filed under the Alan Parsons artist (the new name of the project after Eric Woolfson's departure).\nThe Album Live in Columbia is filed under The Alan Parsons Symphonic Project\n","creation_date":"2019-07-04T19:54:55Z","editsPending":false,"changelog":null,"id":769433,"parent":null},"collapse":true,"entity":"entityType":"artist","gid":"f98711e5-06f7-43ed-8239-da0f61a9c460","latest_annotation":Alan Parsons]''' artist (the new name of the project after Eric Woolfson's departure).\r\n\r\nThe Album '''Live in Columbia''' is filed under '''[ -7634-4e3e-bf9c-68936d4c5668,"numberOfRevisions":9}AnnotationPlease note that The Time Machine, On Air and Try Anything Once are not by The Alan Parsons Project, and should be filed under the Alan Parsons artist (the new name of the project after Eric Woolfson's departure).

The Alan Parsons Project I

The participants have insisted that the idea was about the challenges women face, though frankly it comes across more like a bunch of men demonising women - indeed, no women are heard at all on 7 of the 9 tunes here, with only Clare Torry and Lesley Duncan getting a chance to be heard, and it's hard not to see the album as being more about mens' views of women than it is about women themselves.This might be a clever and insightful theme for a concept album if more of an attempt were made to challenge and self-criticise those views, rather than simply taking them as read - but as it stands, it just feels faintly embarrassing, with points which sound like the audio equivalent of an incel message board.This is exacerbated by the structure of the album; the idea seems to have been to present the negative side of women on side one, and the positive side on side two (which includes the two tracks which have women on lead vocals). There's two issues that mean it doesn't quite work; the first is that it's a concept which inherently is based around grand, sweeping generalisations, and the second is that the condemnation on side 1 seems to vastly outweigh the praise in side two, leaving the whole thing seeming imbalanced.To be fair, only I'd Rather Be A Man would stand out as being especially misogynistic if you took it on its own - the rest of the compositions here would be inoffensive if heard in isolation. It's when you put them all together in one package that side 1 ends up seeming so ugly and bitter, and overshadows side 2's more conciliatory tone so much.The bitterness may have been exacerbated by the fact that Parson and Woolfson were at odds with Arista at this time, and were grumpy about their contract. Indeed, this would be around the time that they knocked off The Sicilian Defence in three days, delivering it to the record company simultaneously with Eve, in order to burn through their contractual obligations and leverage Arista back to the barganining table. The end result was a renewed contract and something of a return to form on The Turn of a Friendly Card.The Sicilian Defence was an infamous goof-off - a deliberately lazy effort that Parsons and Woolfson didn't seriously expect to see the light of day - but it's hard not to feel like they may have been holding back a little here, keeping back their most choice ideas just in case that contract negotiation fell through and they needed to offer something tasty and tempting to some other record company.The end result is that Eve barely scrapes to three star status off the back of the pristine production and lush instrumental backing to its compositions, but the combination of Parsons and Woolfson semi-phoning it in and the bitter tone of the whole thing means it's hard to give it more credit than that. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Tuesday, February 28, 2023 Review this album Report (Review #2895316)

I Robot is one of APP's most acclaimed albums in the 70s, and for really good reasons. I think the main appeal here is the fact that this came out during the time when Prog rock was starting to fade from public consciousness, and with this album's more pop-like approach, they managed to create an album that both popheads and progheads could enjoy. I find the main appeal for this album, for me at least, is the strong musical architecture this duo creates. You get flavors of your usual, classic Prog rock affair, but mixed with funk, ambient, soft rock, and even a bit of Pink Floydian sounding space rock with Day After Day (The Show Must Go On). It really allows this record to feel like an actual project the two members worked on. Something to test their own sounds and stylizations, and I am all for it. Not only do they harness that fun and lively 70s pop into their progressive sound, but they also bend their own flutes and try to make something that is quite varied in their approach.This record is a concept album, and one that, at the surface, might not seem so apparent. Basically, it draws slight concepts from Isaac Asimov's Robot Stories, which delves in philosophies and themes from AI, and humanity. I find it cool that Asimov was around to happily approve and listen to this final conceptual work. In fact, many of the album's themes draw from these books, especially on the last track of Genesis Ch. 1 V.32, which is an implication piece, drawing parallels to the Bible's Genesis story, having a first chapter that has 31 verses, and so this song being a 32nd verse showcases a new age of life, being a lot more robotic yet still alive. While the concept is considerably loose, I find it really cool how the story of these books draws their seams into the album's workings, kinda like how The Flaming Lips would do 24 years later with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. This album has a lot more of a mechanical and cold feel, but still resonates that fun, carefree pop tone APP is quite known for, which I think is quite appealing.I do have some problems with this record, and it's that I feel as though they really gave out some missed opportunities for something greater. I wasn't looking for any epics since I can find them in their first and fifth record, but I won't deny that tracks like Some Other Time, Nucleus, and especially Total Eclipse left me in the cold. They weren't as big or as excellent sounding as Breakdown or The Voice, which is quite disappointing. Also I felt the length of the record was quite underwhelming. I kinda, no, really wanted there to be some sort of grander ending, possibly with Genesis Ch. 1 V.32 being a lot longer than 3 minutes (possibly 7 or 8 minutes) as it develops more and more upon itself, giving this album a great closure. Either way, even if this album has a few missed potentials and a few chilled feet, I think this is quite a charming little album.I decided to listen to another APP album because of this record, and so it made me a fan of this duo's unique blending of pop rock, Prog rock, and many other genres. I won't say it is an essential listening experience, especially in regards to 1977 albums, but this is not a bad record, and in fact one that is worth looking into for anyone curious to get in APP like I did. A cold, metallic album that despite its breezes can still warm up a groove in my feet. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Friday, December 9, 2022 Review this album Report (Review #2857172)

I will start the actual review off with saying the same thing that many other reviewers already have: this is not really prog rock. The album does not have many traits left of ALP's roots in prog rock, as shown in "I Robot" for example. This is a quite poppy and radio-friendly album. That should however not make the album's listening experience any worse in my opinion, and I think it has many traits that prog fans would appreciate. Regardless of whatever genre you ascribe the album to, it keeps a lot of the ALP's artistic values, and you could even go as far as to call this "progressive pop" or "art pop".When it comes to my overall impression of the album, I have three things to say. First of all, the sound quality is spot on. It should come as no surprise, considering the album comes from the man who was a sound engineer on one of the most successful albums of all time. The sound is extremely clean, probably to the point that some would call it overproduced, and it is no wonder that it was nominated for the Grammy Awards for the Best Engineered Album in 1983. Second of all, with the exception of "Silence and I", the songs are very straightforward, resulting in a good flow throughout the album, like a river that flows into the ocean that is "Old And Wise". And lastly, the album has a lot of personality. A lot of the artistic value is put into the lyrics, making the album just more fun to listen to in general. In my opinion, good albums are those you can build a personal connection to. If this album was a person, they would be a very quirky and friendly type with an emotionally sensitive side.I will not talk about every single song on the album, but I will bring up some highlights. The opener "Sirius" packs a big punch in barely two minutes with powerful guitar work (including an amazing solo) and a beautiful symphonic atmosphere. I can see why this became the theme song for a big basketball team. The second track, "Eye In The Sky" is the biggest hit the project released. It is an embodiment of soft rock, sounding incredibly melodic with no instrument taking over the song at any other instrument's expense. Three songs later, "Silence And I" is perhaps the album's finest moment, even if it did not become a hit. Out of all the songs on the album, this is probably one that any prog fan would appreciate. It starts off very slow-paced and symphonic and at the 2:38 mark, the tempo shifts and becomes much faster with an explosion of symphonic soundscapes. Not to mention the spot-on guitar solo, of course. "Psychobabble" is just pure fun to listen to, both musically and lyrically. You just cannot ignore the flute lick, and it also has a lot of progressive characteristics. "Mammagamma" is a great funky tune which you cannot help but to dance to. The album is finished off with the rich, melancholic ballad "Old And Wise", which tops the sundae off with a cherry that is the killer saxophone solo in the end.To conclude, while the album has not much to offer in terms of progressive rock, it is an excellent album for pop rock standards and I still recommend any fan of prog to check it out. If you like Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" and "Even In The Quietest Moments", and ELO's "A New World Record" and "Out Of The Blue", I think you will enjoy this one too, as well as their earlier albums "The Turn Of A Friendly Card" and "I Robot". I give this one a total score of 8.5/10. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Friday, November 11, 2022 Review this album Report (Review #2851670) 041b061a72


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