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The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

3.80 | 534 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Warning! Warning! Wimpy progressive rock approaching. "I Robot" does get some of it right: basing an album on ISAAC ASIMOV's tale of man's fall and machine's rise (in theory anyway), including trippy instrumental passages drawn from the same inscrutable inkiness as "Dark Side" and "Wish You Were Here". But APP wasn't content just to be a prog band; they sought a broader audience by trapping the sensitive '70s songwriter in their high towers of sonic achievement. The result, musically, is akin to being sucker punched. Instrumentals "I Robot" and "Nucleus" set you up for it, and -- wham! -- a mushy ballad like "Don't Let It Show" hits you in the groin. I suppose that's my problem with THE PROJECT: I'm usually on my guard against '70s pop and yet I can't help but drop my defenses during the instrumental sections. Midway through a pleasant daydream, I'm roused from my imagination asking the question "What the hell am I listening to?" There should be a wall of division between disco music and progressive rock, and I can't give APP any credit for tearing the wall down. Anyway, all that carping aside, this is arguably THE PROJECT's best album. Half of it's terrific, from the hits "I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" and "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)" to magical instrumentals like "Nucleus" and "Total Eclipse." The Pink Floyd comparisons hold true for the instrumental sections, while BOB WELCH and SUPERTRAMP come to mind during the vocal songs. What doesn't come to mind is ASIMOV's book; if this album has anything to do with robots, I missed it. And that sort of shallow coolness pervades "I Robot".

The Seventies, which saw the rise of both PINK FLOYD and PINK LADY, represented a transitional period where pop art prevailed. And so you get the pop/disco/prog amalgam of "I Robot", a swimming pool of sounds that features a deep end and a shallow one to suit all swimmers without satisfying any one group completely.

daveconn | 4/5 |


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