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The Alan Parsons Project - Eye In The Sky CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 460 ratings

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3 stars Alan Parsons is best known to me for his work with Pink Floyd, but he is a successful artist in his own right and "Eye In The Sky" is the album that proves it, at least commercially. Parsons forged what I believe to be an 80s type of progressive music - geared more toward electronic, computerized music than screaming guitar solos or complex technical skills. Don't get me wrong, it takes skill to do what Alan does on his albums, but he is no Robert Fripp or Steve Howe. Alan is Alan.

Alan does have a "sound" and songs like "The Raven", "I, Robot" and "Eye In The Sky" give us a little bit of that Alan Parsons feel. You know it when you hear it, in other words. This album, I will admit, is not Alan's best overall effort, but it is a worthy spin nonetheless.

The album begins with "Sirius" (best known as the Chicago Bulls' theme). The intensity of this song builds with the passage of each measure. More and more instrumentation is added to this piece, like an architect would lay a foundation and add more and more complex design. Does Alan get more and more complex? Well, that could be debated, but he does flesh out the track with tedious detail and a smashing climax that goes straight into the second track "Eye In The Sky."

"The Eye In The Sky" may be the commercial hit, but it is still the most enjoyable track to me. Compared to this track, the remainder of the album feels like fluff or filler. This album is definitely not what I would consider essential prog, by any means. The first two tracks are the highlights. After the second track, the album is hit and miss.

"Children of The Moon" has moments of interest (sounds a bit like Yes-lite), but the chorus sounds like pure 80s sitcom cheese. I can barely get through this track once the chorus kicks in. It is not at all interesting, in my opinion.

"Gemini" begins with some interesting vocal arrangements and is a very mellow song with descending harmonies and is basically a very simple song that is a bit more enjoyable than "Children", but ultimately I was glad that it was only two minutes long.

"Silence and I" is a little similar to a bit David Gilmour-solo type material, minus the awesomeness of Gilmour's guitar. The strings and piano are interesting and there is a change of up that is similar to ELP or Yes. It is definitely not a boring song, but it's not great either. Some parts make me think of Rick Wakeman.

The next two tracks make me want to go beat my head into a tree. "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" and "Psychobabble" are odd tracks for this album. They are by far the worst songs on any Alan Parsons album and definitely bring the album down. If the first two tracks are 4 out of 5, these are like 1 out of 5. Simply awful.

Things pick back up a bit with "Mammagamma". The track is dated and definitely sounds early 80s like a mix between The Police's "How Stupid Mr. Bates" and some backing track for Blondie, but it is a welcome piece after the horrific two songs that precede it.

"Step By Step" is a little better than "Psychobabble", but not by much. I think a cheap imitation of Billy Joel got tossed in the mix here. This is only entertaining if you are stuck in an elevator ... and I am being nice.

"Old & Wise" brings us back to the same territory of "Silence and I" and I actually think I enjoy this one a bit more. For some reason, it is almost King Crimson-esque (in the vein of Islands or Wake) and is like a cheaper, diet version of "Epitaph". It is worth listening to.

Overall, this album is a rollercoaster of very pleasurable moments and intolerable moments. The first two tracks and the final track are by far the best the album has to offer while the songs in between are definite hit or miss (mostly miss). Taking all that into consideration, a 3 is a solid score, but only because I can't give it a 2.5.

PinkYesGongMachine | 3/5 |


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