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


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 617 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Here lies an album musically depicting the works of American Romanticist Edgar Allan Poe. This album from The Alan Parsons Project is thoughtful and literary progressive pop. The darkness of the literature represented here is rarely magnified; indeed, the tones of the age render Poe's work somewhat cheaply or queerly. That said, it is an enjoyable and occasionally disconcerting musical experience in its own right.

"A Dream within a Dream" The title of this piece is taken from a poem. After a spoken word section, a typical sounds from the Alan Parsons Project comes to the fore, semi-psychedelic and with a build of instruments and vocal harmonies, but never complex.

"The Raven" Leading in from the previous track, this piece features Poe's most famous poem adapted and run through a vocoder, boasting a strong rock chorus.

"The Tell-Tale Heart" Screeching vocals ruin this more traditional rocker; they are just too dramatic and ring hallow. The guitar solo almost makes up for it in the second bit.

"The Cask of Amontillado" Relating what is perhaps my favorite Poe story in Neo-Prog fashion, full of strings and overdramatic vocals, this piece leads into a beautiful counterpoint dialogue that is quite frightening given the context of the piece- well done. There is a heavier, synthetic brass-led interlude indicating the tension before the somber, and then peaceful, mood returns. This is an excellent composition from The Alan Parsons Project.

"(The System of) Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether" One of Poe's lesser known but more comedic works makes an appearance on this album. It is a more upbeat but still moderate rocker with fun vocals. The theme from "The Raven" makes a brief appearance here.

"The Fall of the House of Usher" What is considered a masterpiece of American Gothic literature is treated to a suite and given an initial spoken-word introduction. The prelude consists of an orchestral, and almost light-hearted piece that dips its toe in strangeness once in a while. A storm, appropriate enough, segues into the second, brief, organ-led segment. It admittedly becomes background noise until the bass, acoustic guitars, and synthesizers pick it up. It becomes an icy, melodic piece of music for a time. The twisted tones that overtake the suite are contextually disjointed- the author of the music should have found a way to make the fall flow.

"To One in Paradise" The final piece relates to one of Poe's poems. It is a peaceful and lovely piece that musically presents the poet's Romanticist but unquiet mind.

Epignosis | 3/5 |


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