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The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

4.06 | 685 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
4 stars Alan Parsons Pro . . . gressive

The theme of this album is represented, as the title suggests, by the works of the great American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe. Naturally translate into music the masterworks of Poe is extremely difficult and pretentious, yet despite this we can say that Alan Parsons has succeeded brilliantly in this aim in almost all the tracks on this record.

Of course the fanatics of progressive rock should pay attention: I cannot guarantee you like this album because something here sounds, without doubt, a bit commercial. But certainly we are miles away from the "poppy" APP of "Eye In The Sky", "Stereotomy" and "Ammonia Avenue": if there is an album of this band that we can consider at least comparable to the progressive rock, this is it.

Very near to be a little masterpiece and I would give it 5 stars . . . but there is a loss of quality in some tracks. For example, the final song To One In Paradise (which is not a "tale" but a poem like A Dream Within A Dream and The Raven) isn't as good as the others, and the prologue of The Fall Of The House Of Usher", played by a symphonic orchestra, is a bit monotonous. For the rest of the album, there are no weak points: it is an album where the music is compelling and in many cases also perfectly suited to the atmosphere of the stories written by Poe. The production is masterful (as we could expect from the sound engineer of "Dark Side Of The Moon") and the album does not sound like a mid-seventies one: heard today it sounds incredibly modern and what is even more surprising when one considers that, at the time, Alan Parsons did not use any synthesizer. Very importance have the presence of distinguished guests like Francis Monkman in The Fall Of The House Of Usher and especially Arthur Brown, lead singer in The Tell-Tale Heart (the interpretation of the maniac murderer protagonist of the story is absolutely amazing).

Even a lighter episode as The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather (Poe's surreal story, set in an asylum) is on the whole successful, as well as The Raven and The Cask Of Amontillado (the choruses of the latter track, however, could be avoided). Of course, the instrumental parts are the highlight of the album and especially The Fall Of The House Of Usher, just disappointing in the orchestral prologue.

Without doubt the best album of APP and also probably the only one I would recommend to a fan of progressive rock (but if you love only experimental prog or jazz-rock, I think is better for you to avoid it).

rating: 7/10.

Best song: The Tell-Tale Heart

Dark Nazgul | 4/5 |


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