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Alan Parsons Band - The Secret CD (album) cover


Alan Parsons Band


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2.98 | 46 ratings

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4 stars Alan Parsons pulls a Pink Floyd and releases an album well after there was any real prospect of a new studio recording. Whereas Floyd went 22 years, Parsons went 15 between releases. Both groups looked to the past for the inspiration. PF dug up tapes from the aborted ambient album and leftover material from the Division Bell as its base, Parsons latest label (Frontier Records) asked him to go back to the sounds of the Alan Parsons Project. Not all the way back to Tales and I Robot, but Eye in the Sky , Turn of a Friendly Card and Vulture Culture. Also, there is no trace of the techno that AP infused into his last studio album, A Valid Path.

To clear the air quickly, there is only a hint or two of prog on this album. I know this is a prog site but but you have to rate this a a pop / soft rock album, that also has a bit of Broadway and other favors thrown in, otherwise the rating would be N/A.

There are plenty of guests as usual on his disks and they do not disappoint. Steve Hackett adds guitar to beef up the AP take on The Sorcerers Appentice, a track mostly associated the Disney's Fantasia. Sadly, it's the only instrumental on the album. There are tracks were you will be able to spot the reference of a hit gone by , but they are different enough to keep it interesting.

There is the theme of magic throughout many of the tracks and several also relate to the passage of time. But Alan Parsons calling card has always been the immaculate sound and that is where The Secret really shines. The orchestra has returned and while it is not called on for any intricate pieces outside of The Sorcerers Apprentice, the sound is gorgeous and the swells are welcome return. The lead vocalist all fit their tracks and even Alan himself takes the lead on As Light Falls. Lou Gramm does an excellent job on the power ballad Sometimes. The backing vocalists on this album are also stunning. Alan Parsons may be 70, but he hasn't lost his ear.

After A Valid Path sank like a rock even though there were some really good cuts on that album including, Return to Tunguska which featured some excellent guitar work from David Gilmour, looking back is the only way forward for a man his age. Youngsters today, like every generation, want their own musical heroes and are not going to gravitate in large numbers to a man whose heyday was 40 years ago. On The Secret, Parsons returns to the the people who listened to him in his heyday. I find this album captivating and it's been a month and I keep returning to it.

A very strong 4 stars as long as you know going in that this is not a prog album.

tdfloyd | 4/5 |


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