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The Alan Parsons Project - The Turn Of A Friendly Card CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

3.49 | 363 ratings

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4 stars This concept album about gambling is worth taking a chance on. Of the handful of APP albums I own, I return to Turn most often. The attraction goes beyond the obvious appeal of songs like "Time" and "Games People Play," which are two of THE PROJECT's most enduring hits. For me, it's the presence of arrangements that prog fans could sink their eye teeth into: "The Gold Bug" and "The Turn of a Friendly Card" (Part One)" stand out at the moment. True, the album still has one foot firmly planted in disco/pop, suggesting a hybrid of 10cc and PINK FLOYD (in fact, Godley & Creme are credited with "sleeve concept" on this one), but its languid and dreamy sound pushes it closer to the prog camp. ERIC WOOLFSON's vocals in particular make an impression with a mix of masking and philosophical sleepiness on "Time" and "Nothing Left To Lose" that remains oddly compelling. LENNY ZAKATEK takes the lead on funkier cuts like "I Don't Wanna Go Home" and "Games People Play," Elmer Gantry on the opening "May Be A Price To Pay," and CHRIS RAINBOW shines on the madrigal-themed "The Turn of a Friendly Card" (Part One)" and "Snake Eyes" (these two achieving some small success as singles). The concept seems to swing in and out of focus; I'm not sure what "Time" has to do with gambling, and "The Gold Bug" would seem to be an extension of their Poe-tic debut, but the record's thoughtful and calculated arrangements tie things together. Though it tends to get lumped together with most of their albums from this period, "Turn of a Friendly Card" may be the best mix of instrumental mind candy and memorable pop songs in the PARSONS canon.
daveconn | 4/5 |


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