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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 | 216 ratings

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CCVP
Prog Reviewer
2 stars For hardcore fans and to the not so much hardcore following

Yes, Arjen Anthony Lucassen is releasing a new album. The mastermind behind the epic and mind blowing project Ayreon is releasing another album, but this time under hos own name, not under some mysterious intergalactic apocalyptic spaceship alias; no, Lucassen decided to release his newest album, Lost in the New Real as himself. Some may not get it right away, but I smelled something fishy right from that point, right from that little detail: deciding to release Lost under a different name from his already numerous projects.

Well, since when I had fist listened to Into the Electric Castle, some five or six years ago, I have been avidly following Arjen's every step, every new project he's on, every new musical idea he's behind and, believe it or not, I have found out that not every one of his projects and musical ideas are exactly brilliant. Arjen, being the intelligent human being he is, know that as well, which is the reason why he has so many projects: he avoids mixing something that he believes may not have such a great outcome as his well established and well-known creation, the Ayreon alias. Because of that, everything that isn't perfect goes under another name, even though the style isn't a million miles away from Ayreon: he only releases his best and most well-crafted creations under Ayreon, leaving the stuff he isn't so sure of to other projects.

Just take a peak at Star One, Ambeon, Stream of Passion and Guilt Machine: they all have something, some musical feature that his main project, Ayreon, has, but he distilled such characteristics, such musical feature for that project alone, with variable results (some end up being better than others, of course), but all being sub- par when compared to Ayreon.

All that considered, I still managed to convince myself that this time it could be different, that there was a possibility that it could be as good as Guilt Machine, that I could be wrong for another time (as I was with Guilt Machine). Turn out I was not; Lost in the New Real turned out to be exactly what I expected: an underwhelming album. This time, however, it wasn't underwhelming because the music was particularly uninspiring, but because the record is utterly pointless. That is because Arjen chooses to mimic himself here, it seems as if he decides to recycle old ideas he had for Ayreon albums that didn't quite made into any of the records.

It is possible to clearly see, with each passing song, how they are similar to previous albums he released, with more or less similarities to either some Ayreon album in particular or to ideas he fully developed on side projects. The way the album is constructed, however, make the two biggest references the Universal Migrator parts 1 and 2, specially if you consider how Lost and both parts of the Migrator album were constructed. Hell, even the opening and closing tracks here are similar in nature to the opening and closing tracks of Universal Migrator part 1. Another reason as to why I find there are so many similarities between these three albums is that all of them are constructed around individual songs instead of being one big piece of music, as it happens with Electric Castle, Human Equation, 01011001 (Y) and Guilt Machine. In spite of that, you can still notice references to the other albums I just mentioned. It feels as a redux, a revision of all he has done so far

For that reason, I feel that most of Lost in the New Real is forgettable and just don't add to anything you already have if you know this man's work. On the other hand, however, I feel that there is an audience for this album: first (and foremost, I believe), there are the hardcore fans, that will buy ANYTHING Arjen releases, regardless of whatever; second, people that don't know much of his work or don't exactly know their way around his considerable catalog of albums released.

Rating and Final Thoughts

If you, as me, love Arjen's work and have listened to mostly everything he has put out, this will pass as something forgettable (excluding the excellent title track), unnecessary and even tiresome at parts, so great is the similarities with Arjen's other works.

On the other hand, of you don't know much of this great man's work or is too much or a hardcore fan to let this go by, grab this album, you will probably enjoy it very much.

CCVP | 2/5 |

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