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Eric Woolfson - Freudiana CD (album) cover


Eric Woolfson

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4 stars I came across this album late into my discovering of the Projects, and wondered why it wasn't available as easily as the others (I'm in Canada and got it shipped from Holland). It's obvious that Eric Woolfson was directing his writing towards a more stage musical theme, and even though I don't favor that style, I find the album as a whole still very strong and not too too different from the others. Highlights for me are definitely "Let Yourself Go", "Freudiana", "Far Away From Home", and "No One Can Love You Better Than Me", and I feel that they hold up against any of the best songs the Project has released. If you are a fan, you won't be disappointed.
Report this review (#5666)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Speaking about the boundaries of Prog Rock : Musically speaking I would file APP as Pop, similar to ELO.What brings APP more into the Progfield for me is his interest in Concepts, mainly on a litteratue Basis :E.A.Poe, I.Asimov and in this case the life and work of S.Freud.The overall quality of the lyrics gets APP over the average Pop Music.The music is typical APP, very nice melodies, good arrangements.I like this record a lot,it is definetily underrated.
Report this review (#5668)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is a rarity(I ordered my copy from Arkansas)way back in the 90's...Exellent production quality...More variety here than on your average APP effort...Did'nt expect to hear kiki dee again(she's on one of the tracks)You might say this is for collectors only...Don't let this stop you from checking this one out...
Report this review (#5669)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album was released in 1990. For years the Alan Parsons project was working on another project based on the life and work of Sigmund Freud. What a surprise the album wasn't released as the next album of TAPP. It seems Parsons and his musical architect Woolfson didn't get on very well at the time. During the recording of this album Woolfson got into musicals and wanted to tour some theatres in Europe, which he did afterwards, with a play, based on the material for this album. After Woolfson and Parsons recorded this album, the two of them went on separate ways. But listening to this album, only one conclusion can be drawn. This is in fact the 11th album of The Alan Parsons Project. A pity so many fans of APP didn't get to know this due to the lack of the TAPP moniker. Half the songs on Freudiana could have ended up on any other Project release. We all know most of the APP don't sound as what we would call progressive rock. APP delivered perfect pop music with some symphonic flavours. Taking in consideration the length of this album is double the length of a normal Parsons album, you still have an amount of typical Parsons tunes. "Little Hans" is a Beatlesque track with chart possibilities. Tracks like "Dora" and "let yourself go" are the kind of typical ballads you'll find on other APP efforts. Not bad but cheesy, slick and unmemorable. "You're on your own" is more powerful and features Kiki Dee on vocals. Progressive highlights are the instrumental tracks like "the Nivana principle" and the title track. Especially the title track is something to write about. The lush atmosphere at the background is full of exotic sounds & percussion and a powerful solo of Bairnson ends up the track quite nicely and of course the lyrics are most interesting. "I am the mirror" is in essence a rock track but the full blown symphonic arrangement of Andrew Powell makes it suitable for incorporation on an album like Tales from mystery and imagination". Splendid !

But there's more. On some tracks you can guess the direction Woolfson is heading to in the near future. Tracks like "Funny you should say that" or Sects therapy" seems to be conceived as they were intended as part of a musical" with its many voices in conversation with each other. Especially "Funny you which includes a magnificent chorus. You may like the musical thing or not. It's up to you.

Overall not a perfect album in any case but there's definitely some interesting moments worthwhile of checking out if you like the work of TAPP.

Report this review (#61907)
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a forgotten album and as I feel that it deserves more attention, I have decided to review it. The album was released with the title of "Freudiana", without the name of Alan Parsons printed on the sleeve. My copy had a sticker indicating that it was an Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson album. Actually it's more like a solo album by Eric Wooolfson, produced by Alan Parsons, who gives him some help writing the instrumental tracks as well. Freudiana is a concept album based on the world of Sigmund Freud. It's probably the most varied album in the discography of Alan Parsons and it really contains very interesting compositions. At certain momnets the album looks like a rock opera, with hilarious theatrical numbers like Funny You Should Say That or Sects Therapy, and songs with several characters appearing making dialogues (like in No One Can Love You Better Than Me). But most of the tracks are individual songs with many different styles and moods. There are several interesting instrumentals, typical form Parsons,with a good balance between synths, orchestration and conventional instruments like sax and guitar. These instrumentals are the most progressive part of the album, along with the title track, sung by Woolfson, which is very atmospheric. There are also more straight-ahead rockin' tracks like I Am A Mirror (my personal favorite) and You're On Your Own. Little Hans is a lovely Beatle-esque pop song with great melody. Don't Let The Moment Pass is a beautifull song with female voice and orchestarl arrangements. The rest of the tracks are mainly more conventional APP ballads, but not bad. This is not a prog rock album, although it does have some prog ingredients, as well as many others. Good music, after all.
Report this review (#76506)
Posted Thursday, April 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars There is some dispute over whether this should be seen as an Alan Parsons Project album or not. Personally, I do sort this album under Alan Parsons Project in my collection. The theme (there is always a theme) of the album is the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud. This sounds like a pretty pretentious project, but the result is not really pretentious at all. They tackle the topic with some irony and a sense humour. However, it is a very intellectual type of humour and you might not understand it if you haven't studied Fraud. eh, sorry Freud. Personally, I find it really funny as well as serious, since I believe that Freud's theories have done more harm than good. So the source is very rich on material both to make fun of and to criticise.

I must admit that I was quite blown away by the first two or three tracks of this album that are very good (by Alan Parsons Project standards). The opening instrumental is very typical of the Alan Parsons Project, with its programmed rhythms and sax. The six minute title track that follows is, together with the more straightforward rocker I Am A Mirror are, in my opinion, better than anything (else) done by the Project. The guitar work is very good here, and I Am A Mirror has great, and very symphonic instrumental breaks. Great!

Little Hans, is pure Paul McCartney. This song could easily have been on Rubber Soul or Revolver! I like The Beatles a lot, but here it sounded a little bit out of place, but ok. Dora is an ok song as well, a slow and sweet ballad. But, by the time we reach It's Funny You Should Say That, it became painfully clear to me that the hopes set by the three first tracks were too high, very much so. It is really funny, but it hardly is what I would call great music. This music has value to me, but it is a very different type of value from what I seek from progressive music. This is enjoyable in about the same way as Monty Python's Flying Circus or something. (And really only if you know something about Freud).

After this point, the album visits many more musical places and it slowly disintegrates, becoming more and more disjointed and on some tracks you might legitimately wonder whether it is the same album playing or if you accidentally turned the radio on instead. Not saying that it is all radio friendly pop with absolutely no prog credentials. It just doesn't sound like a coherent concept album to me, rather it sounds like a "tribute" album to Sigmund Freud, done by several different bands and artists with no real musical connection to each other.

It is not until towards the end of the album when the title track is reprised that there is any sign of the album getting back on track again, but it does not happen, unfortunately. And even if it would have happened, it would still have been too late to save the album from mediocrity. What started out so good turned out to be quite unsatisfying in the end.

For fans and collectors only.

.and for Freud scholars.

Report this review (#187600)
Posted Saturday, November 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars In what started out as the eleventh album of the Alan Parsons Project, over time morphed into solo project with the band name and album title called Freudiana. Like APP this is headed up by Eric Woolfson, who wrote all of the lyrics and most of music. What is different is Brian Brolly, who convinced Woolfson to make the new album adaptable to the stage. The changes produced two different results. First, the album successfully married Freud, pop, rock, prog and Broadway into something that is quite unique and interesting. The second result was that without the Alan Parsons Project moniker, the album was either not released in the USA or had such a small footprint that it sank pretty much without a trace. It's unfortunate because it is a very good piece of work. I had tried to track down the album for 10 years until I finally found it overseas in a small New Zealand CD store.

Lyrically, the songs all deal with the works of Sigmund Freud. Eric Woolfson again displays his writing prowess to great success. A little bit of background reading may be necessary to fully understand a couple of the songs but it is not a prerequisite to enjoy the album. Musically, it sounds like an APP album: multiple vocalists, an orchestra, a very solid band, wonderful production with some stage musical mixed in. Don't let that last piece stop you from tracking down Freudiana. A shame that bad marketing decisions prevented Freudiana from reaching the audience it deserved.

A strong 4 star rating.

Report this review (#1075618)
Posted Monday, November 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow, what an incredible end of this great band's discography! "Freudiana" is Alan Parsons project's eleventh studio album and it was released 1990. I am convinced this is the band's second best album and I believe it is underrated. Why has so few rated and reviewed it here. Perhaps it's beacuse some don't consider it to be an APP' record. But even if the name isn't the is the line up and everything similar with the band and its characteristics. It has a fine cover and a line of of Eric Wooldson, Richard Cottle, Stuart Elliott, Ian Bairnson, Laurie Cottle, Alan Parsons, Leo Sayer, Graham Dye, The FLying Pickets, Kiki Dee, Eric Stewart, Frankie Howerd, Marti Webb, Gary Howard, Chris Rainbow, Andrew Powell and John Miles.

Long albums could be anoying, but not when they are as good as this one. You could perhaps call it more progressive than other releases of the band but what I feel most clearly here it that the album is simialr to musicals and rock operas. I compare it with Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables and other fantastic musical and Woolfsosn here could have done a musical of this. I like everything on the album but it has its highlights. Three tracks are so wonderful that I give them the highest rating(10/10). "I am a mirror" with Leo Sayer on vocals is a wonderful rock sond with both great instrumantation and vocals. "Sects therapy" - sung by Frankie Howerd is so typical English and fits an old classical and noble world of dances and the lyrics are so funny. Funny is also "Funny you should say that" which seems to be inspired by Zappa but it's much better than him and it is a powerful and very funny piece of music. The lyrics are extraordinary and the players singing it do it great. Then we have the rock opera "No one can love you better than me" which is theatralic and very interesting(9/10) with vocals from Kiki Dee, Marti Webb, Gary Howerd and Eric Woolfson. I am also so glad to hear Eric Stewart which I like from 10cc, singing "The ring"(8/10) and "Upper me"(8/10). Eric Woolfson sings great in "Freudiana"(8/10) too! The little sixites pop song "Little Hans" sung by Grahan Dye (8/10) is as lovely as "Don't let the moment pass"(8/10) with vocals of Marti Webb. The album ends very well with "There but fot the grace of god" with vocals of John Miles which is a powerful song and concludes this perfectly.

All the other songs are good so the evenness of the album is evident! The least interesting song is "Dora" which I rate to (6/10). If we think about how even this record is and how many great and interesting songs, lyrics and craftsmanship it contains I would almost give it five stars. But that would be wrong so a smashing four have to be my answer. My journey through Alan Parsons Project's carreer has come to an end and I'd rank the album's is this way: 1. Tales of mystery and imagination - Edgar Allan Poe(76)- 5/5, 2. Freudiana(90)-4/5, 3. Eye in the sky(82)-4/5, 4. The turn of a friendly card(80)-4/5, 5. I robot(77)-3/5, 6. Ammonia avenue(84)-3/5, 7. Pyramid(78)-3/5, 8. Gaudi(87)-3/5, 9. Stereotomy(85)-3/5, 10. Eve(79)-3/5 and 11. Vulture Culture(84)-2/5. What do you think?

Report this review (#1288716)
Posted Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars After a terrible sequence of pop/mainstream and radio-friend albums in the 1980s, I consider this concept album as a come back to the glorious days of the first 3 Alan Parsons Project's albuns. This is surely an underrated album.

I don't care about the controversy about if this is in fact an APP or not, the fact is that the music is more than good enough to me. The album is centered on an interesting concept about Sigmund Freud life and work, with tons of different styles, from ballads through a very enjoying Beatlesque track to almost hard rock tracks. There are even humour tinges in some narrated places. Perhaps this album would need at least 2 to 3 attentive auditions to be fully appreciated, but for me it deserves solid four stars, without a doubt!

Report this review (#1504860)
Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the 1980's Turn of the friendly card, this is the most progressive output of Eric Woolfson and Alan Parsons. Catchy poppy tracks are not as aggressive as few years ago. I have the impression that both APP's masterminds decided to create more solid work of challenging and memorable music without any pressure to sell. The album clocks at 74 minutes but still, it has enough to offer - both guys had enough time to recover and collect new ideas. Album feels like a collection of various tracks, moods and singers although there is a concept behind.

"The Nirwana principle" is the track with the motive that gets repeated throughout the album. "Freudiana" is also one of the main music motives with great melody - and subtle melancholy in the vein of APP. "I am a mirror" is a catchy track reminiscent of previous golden era. The ballad slot is filled with a high quality "Dora" sung by legendary voice of Eric Woolfson. Another ballad "There but for the grace of God" brings the great voice of John Miles. "Far away from home" brings me the Christmas spirit each time a hear it. One a more progressive note, listen to "The ring" was more interesting instrumentation. "Don't let the moment pass" is a symphonic track that is unusual for APP.

Overall, this is a well structured and crafted piece of progressive pop.

Report this review (#2119090)
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2019 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars A breath of fresh air after the Alan Parsons Project's dreadful stagnation throughout most of the 80s. It's still not up to the standards of something like I Robot of course; the album still devolves into generic arena rock a few times too often and the lyrics are a bit iffy in spots (you were at least several years too late to still be singing about "the danger zone", guys) but there's clearly some good new ideas here, a variety of styles and moods that are covered, a lot of care that's gone into the production and the arrangements (as opposed to the shopworn 80s production on the preceding albums) and a healthy, sorely needed dose of humour.
Report this review (#2573316)
Posted Monday, June 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

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