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Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost in the New Real CD (album) cover

LOST IN THE NEW REAL

Arjen Anthony Lucassen

 

Crossover Prog

3.73 | 225 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars In what is proving to be a real bumper year for progressive rock, 2012 has so far seen the release of the much-vaunted the Steve Hackett / Chris Squire union Squackett, the long-awaited second album from San Diego psych-proggers Astra, Ian Anderson's 'Thick As A Brick' sequel, Van Der Graaf Generator's 'Alt', Hawkwind's new album 'Onward', the re-appearance of It Bites, Anathema's 'Weather Systems', a surprise new offering from cult freak-folk outfit Comus and the exciting Storm Corrosion project from Porcupine Tree and Opeth head honcho's Steven Wilson and Mikael Akerfeldt to name but a handful. And things are set to get even more exciting, with releases from the likes of Rush, The Flower Kings, Acid Mothers Temple, Diagonal, Trevor Rabin, Asia, Saga and Can on the way. Happily, we can also include the epic new double-sided concept album from Ayreon, Star One and Guilt Machine creator Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the hard-working Dutch master who may just be one of the 21st century's most important progressive rock artists. Who said progressive rock was dead? This time, however, there is no all-star cast and no band moniker surrounding Lucassen. Instead, 'Lost In The New Real' is the first album to be released under the multi-instrumentalists own name, though what it does feature is the impressively-rugged voice of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer(Blade Runner, The Hitcher, Sin City). Of course, with Lucassen there is usually some kind of wonderfully barmy and far-fetched science- fiction style story involved, and 'Lost In The New Real' is no exception. This time, the album tells the tale of a terminally sick man, a man who is cryogenically frozen in his own time before being woken up several hundred years later to find the world a very different place indeed. Hauer, who re-wrote much of his own dialogue, plays the 'hard-headed' psychiatrist who guides out hero through this strange new world, introducing most of the individual tracks in his own unique style. With Lucassen, ever the musical chameleon, now choosing to showcase his deep love of classic rock and 1970s prog, 'Lost In The New Real' really does benefit from Hauer's croaky presence, the whole affair drenched in a retro feel that stands apart from much of it's creators previous works. Tracks like the excellent 'Pink Beatles In A Purple Zeppelin' give a big hint to the kind of direction the album is taking, yet for the most this really is an exceptional album. Hauer's narrative helps glue the story together in a way perhaps missing on the likes of 'Into The Electric Castle' and 'The Univesal Migrator', whilst Lucassen's use of old school instruments and his own, nicely cracked vocals should make this cleverly-crafted offering appeal to a wider audience than usual, the heavy metal traces now virtually extinguished in favour of a more melodic approach. Describing the actual tracks does, however, seem a bit of a moot point here as each one plays its own part in the story, right down the way it is structured and the style used. The album's second half features covers of songs by the likes of Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and, once again, they fit nicely into the overall concept. Simply put, 'Lost In The New Real' is something that has to be heard from beginning to end to truly appreciate(and understand). Those looking for a long, complex and unashamedly progressive album to brighten their day should, then, acquire Lucassen's new album as soon as possible. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |

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