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Planet P Project - Planet P CD (album) cover

PLANET P

Planet P Project

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 16 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Tony Carey was California born and best known for his stint as the first keyboard player for Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow in the late 70s having appeared on the second album "Rising" as well as many live recordings that followed ("On Stage," "Live In Germany" etc ). Although he only joined Ritchie for a short time, it was enough to get him noticed and after he parted ways he moved from the US and relocated in Germany to concentrate on a solo career as well as get the full spectrum experience effect of learning how to produce albums which led him to co-ownership of his own studio with German producer Peter Hauke. During these years Carey was quite prolific and wrote many tracks that didn't fit in with the style of his solo albums therefore he and Hauke created a second project called PLANET P that would add on the PROJECT moniker later and become PLANET P PROJECT. The new group was decidedly science-fiction themed that was based in Pink Floydian space rock and the band which consisted mostly of session musicians would last two albums before scrapping the PROJECT in favor of Carey's more successful solo career as he scored two hits off of his album "Some Tough City."

The debut album simply titled PLANET P came out in 1983 after Carey scored a record deal with Geffen and so the Carey / Hauke team created a mix of various styles and found a minor hit with "Why Me?" on a fledgling MTV that combined a bouncy Police influenced reggae rock syncopation with synth-laden rock and catchy new wave pop hooks augmented by a heavy guitar backing. The video enjoyed heavy rotation and got the band noticed fairly quickly and they followed up with the more laid back almost downtempo single "Static. While "Why Me?," a single that took a David Bowie "Space Oddity" stance about isolation in outer space was more of a rocker, the album itself is more of a chilled out experience with all of side one existing somewhere between downtempo, AOR and catchy pop rock. The second side takes a more energized approach and mixes Floydian space rock with Human League styled synthpop as well as hints of melodic touches from various 70s acts like Rod Stewart, Supertramp and probably most genetically related in style to 80s Alan Parsons Project. The bonus track "Ruby" appeared on CDs and cassettes only.

While the band has ties with progressive rock most notably the Pink Floyd type of space rock compositions with the Gilmour / Waters guitar workouts, the music for the most part is cleverly constructed pop with heavy use of synthesizers that utilize catchy counterpoints for the maximum earworm effect, however some of the riffs do have slightly proggy elements which pop up interspersed throughout the mix. The album garnered enough support for the record company to release a second more ambitious album called "Pink World," but relations soon broke down after Geffen's dissatisfaction with the sophomore album and Carey's decision to pursue his solo career left PLANET P PROJECT a scrapped one until he revived it 21 years later. While i wish there were more heavy tracks like "Why Me?" which is by far the best track on the album, i have to admit that this one grew on me after i allowed the chilled out majority of the album to sink in. While the sci-fi themed storyline is laughable, the neatly crafted pop hooks are irresistible and Carey's vocal performances are quite pleasant. This is somewhat of a lost 80s artifact but one that shouldn't be buried in the time capsule for all eternity.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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