Planet P Project - 1931 (Go Out Dancing Part One)

Year of Release: 2004
Label: ProgRock Records
Catalog Number: 837792009160
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:32:00

This music is very diverse. Geographically, you're taken to Germany, Japan, Poland and America. Chronologically, it starts in 1931, spends time in World War II, fast-forwards to 1994, then goes back to the war. Chronologically - again - these tracks were recorded over more than a decade. And stylistically it runs from straight-out rock through art rock, to hard-edged Floydian space rock; and there are plenty of bluesy, avant-garde and jazzy touches. It will take many spins to get your arms around these disparate elements, but with that repetition the message becomes clearer, the melodies sink in, and the piece starts to feel more cohesive.

After playing keyboards with Rainbow in the 1970s, Tony Carey left California and moved to Germany where his output has been prolific. He has over 30 CDs under his belt including 3 as the Planet P Project. The first Planet P album hit the top-10 in the album charts in the early '80s, and some 20 years after the project's second CD, Carey released 1931 in 2003. The style is similar to the earlier works, if substantially improved by newer technology and the depth and experience gained by all those years in the business. 1931 is the first CD of what is to become the Go Out Dancing trilogy. Record 2 will be Levittown, focusing on the 1950s, and Out In The Rain will examine the state of unfortunates around the world. The CD reviewed here is ProgRock records' re-release of the 2003 piece.

1931 Examines radicalism from pre-Hitler Germany, through Hirohito's Japan, to the McVeigh-set in modern day America. Ten songs run 4 to 6 radio-friendly minutes and each vignettes a troubled time in recent history - usually viewed from the personal perspective of a victim or participant, and always told with a biting cynicism that defines the tone of this whole CD. This satire is expressed through the prose, over-dubbed spoken voices or snippets of the historical speeches delivered to adoring masses by charismatic dictators.

Musically - the sound is very full. It is dominated to some extent by a prominent drum machine which lends it a 1980s vibe, but the rest of the instruments and the sampled overlays and particularly the vocals give it a modern hard-rock meets progressive rock feel. Given Carey's extensive experience as a producer working with big-name acts, it is no surprise that production quality is excellent. Despite the richly textured arrangements that fill every void with sound, you can pick out every note of every instrument.

"Waiting For The Winter" is particularly moving. It recalls the Warsaw ghetto uprising of Autumn 1943, as told by someone who knows he won't survive the winter because the Germans have besieged them and cut off their heat. It is as close as Planet P comes to a ballad. As with all songs the lyrics are crystal clear, and you're left in no doubt about the tragedy that is about to occur as the protagonist grimly prepares for his bleak fate. Tony's singing is particularly good here - restrained and emotional - and the instrumentation adds layers of mood. I would have been happier if that programmed percussion had a little more reserved.

The lyrics throughout are clearly descriptive, if not necessarily poetic, and leave you in no doubt about the point being advanced by this concept album. The music and the setting and the period may be scattered across the landscape of the last century, but that dark prose is the one aspect that is consistent throughout. The awful circumstances it describes with such bitter cynicism are given remarkable sensitivity by describing them from the point of view of a lone individual. This is an unusual CD that will take time to settle on you. Give it the time.

My Radio Talks To Me (6:41) / Join The Parade (4:29) / Good Little Soldiers (5:12) / Work (will make you free) (4:49) / The Judge and The Jury (5:02) / The Other Side Of The Mountain (5:48) / Waiting For The Winter (4:55) / Believe It (4:04) / The Things They Never Told Me (4:35) / Where Does It Go? (5:03)

Tony Carey

Planet P Project (1983) Pink World (1985) 1931 (Go Out Dancing Part One) (2003/2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: January 31st 2005
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website:
Hits: 902
Language: english


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