Parsons Band, Alan - A Valid Path

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Artemis / Eagle Rock
Catalog Number: ASIN: B0002IQHY8
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:25:00

This ain't your daddy's Alan Parsons Project.

From Abbey Road through Pink Floyd to the top of 1980s accessible prog and even a passing mention in an Austin Powers movie, Alan Parsons has a career of successes unmatched by anyone in the progressive music world. With varying levels of involvement, his credits read like a who's who in modern music, include The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Yes, The Hollies, Al Stewart, Bill Bruford, Kayak, Paul McCartney & Wings, Sarah Brightman, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Barclay James Harvest ? and that's less than half the list. The successes go on: A Grammy award and ten nominations, two Top Ten albums, six Top Ten Singles, 3 platinum and 7 gold records, and a Billboard #3.

So what's so different about this uber-successful progger's new record? Firstly, it aint anyone's Alan Parsons Project - this is the Alan Parsons Band. Eric Wolfson, often credited with having more creative input in the Project than Parsons himself, has found greener pastures in the world of musical theatre, and the differences between the project and the band are stark. Gone are those sweeping, softly intelligent soundscapes that rambled comfortably over the duration of all those lush concept LPs. This is electronica, this is new age, this is going to take some getting used to - and this is definitely a try before you buy proposition.

The album's credits include Logic Programming and Sequencing, Nuendo Programming and Sequencing, Digital Performer Programming and Sequencing ? you getting the picture? It is extensively programmed and sequenced! Think Enigma or The Crystal Method. The signature sound here is the insistently repetitive electronically produced techno dance track percussion a la the 1980s. Thumping and driving and heavy, it just never lets up. The electronica includes sampled effects and voice-overs, baby voices, barking dogs and processed vocals. And the music itself? Half of the tracks are reworks of old numbers, so you can crank the originality scale down a few notches as well.

Despite that disappointing disco-feel, there are some nice moments and the overall listening experience is enhanced by the inclusion of several guest artists - The Crystal Method, Uberzone, David (Pink Floyd) Gilmour, PJ Olsson, a brief voice-over from John (Monty Python) Cleese, and Jeremy (a chip off the old block) Parsons.

Apart from a few of the vocal tracks, this is barely recognizable as Alan Parsons. Is it progressive? Well there's no question that the man is progressing, but the question is - will you like his direction, or will you yearn for the return of your daddy's Alan Parsons Project?

Return To Tunguska (8:48) / More Lost Without You (3:20) / Mammagamma 04 (5:05) / We Play The Game (5:35) / Tijuania (5:10) / L'arc En Ciel (5:22) / The Raven (from A Recurring Dream Within A Dream) (4:06) / You Can Run (3:52) / Chomolungma (7:07)

Alan Parsons - vocals, guitar, keyboards, vocoder
PJ Olsson - vocals, programming
Michele Adamson, John Cleese - spoken vocals
David Gilmour, Alastair Greene -guitar
Scott Kirkland - keyboards, programming
Ken Jordan, Simon Postford -programming
The Crystal Method, Nortec Collective Shpongle

Alan Parsons Project:
Tales of Mystery and Imagination - Edgar Alan Poe (1975)
I Robot (1977/2001)
Pyramid (1978)
Eve (1979)
Turn of A Friendly Card (1980)
Eye In The Sky (1982)
The Best of... (1983)
Ammonia Avenue (1984)
Vulture Culture (1985)
Sterotomy (1985)
Gaudi (1987)
The Best of... Vol 2 (1988)
The Instrumental Works (1988)
Anthology (1996)

Alan Parsons Band:
Try Anything Once (1993)
The Very Best live (1995)
On Air (1996)
The Time Machine (1999)
A Valid Path (2004)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 3rd 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website:
Hits: 760
Language: english


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