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Alan Parsons Project - I Robot CD (album) cover

I ROBOT

Alan Parsons Project

 

Crossover Prog

3.75 | 348 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

7headedchicken
5 stars Many on this site talk about albums they were drawn to by their covers, and this is one of those cases for me. I'd heard of the Alan Parsons Project, but had never heard any of their music, so when I saw the used LP in a record store, I was very curious as to what music that accompanied that cool of a cover sounded like. I've since listened to much of the rest of their catalouge, and have been impressed by their ability to stick with the idea of making every one of their albums a serious concept album and to include excellent songs on the albums in such frequency, but none of the albums blew me away like this one. I must say that the opening title track lived up to my expectations built up by the cover art - very spacey and robotic sounds with a catchy, mechanical interlocking groove. I was also instantly impressed by the quality of the engeneering, having only at that point heard Parsons' work on Abbey Road and Dark Side of the Moon, which is great, but I think I Robot might be engineered even more perfectly. There's a true sense of dynamics, all of the parts are easily able to be pinpointed in their space, and the instruments truly come to life. As for the songwriting, it's consistantly strong throughout the whole album, whether it's in experimental mode during the intsrumentals or just great songcraft as in the bulk of Side One. Most people probably have heard the single "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You", which is good (and also retains the sound of the album very well), and perhaps "Breakdown", which is a pretty much ideal merging of pop and prog songwriting and production, but if you haven't heard "Some Other Time", "Don't Let It Show", or "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)", then you haven't heard some of the projects best songs. All three of these great songs boast great melodies sung by some of the band's best vocalists, grandly dramatic builds (in the first two), strong emotional constitution, and lush arrangements that will set any romantic listener to dreaming. I especially enjoy the sound they put on those slowly stummed chords that grace the choruses of "Day After Day", a song that is often justly called the best dreamy ballad that Pink Floyd never wrote. Very good melody here, epecially when it goes into the falsetto part. There lyrics are also thought provoking on all three of these songs, in their own unique ways standing as both regular songs, and if relating to the concept of the album. The other song with lyrics, "The Voice" fits in the with concept pretty well, too, and even through it does sound a lot like Sly and the Family Stone's "Papa Was a Rolling Stone", it's still very much it's own song, with a vocoder part doing a great job of sounding like one of the robots, and more pristine and larger than life production. The other instrumentals are all completely different from each other, "Nucleus" being a way ahead of it's time ambient/trip-hop type of thing, "Total Eclipse" using orchestra and choir to truly frightening effect, and the closing "Genesis Ch. 1 V. 32" being a dark, electronic slow march that expertly conveys the sad bewilderment of a soceity taken over my machines. Altogether, these 10 songs make for a stunning listening experience, and one worthy to be listened to on very good equipment. I can easily say that I Robot has long been not only one of my favorite prog albums, but one of my favorite albums, period.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |

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