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PYRAMID

Alan Parsons Project

Crossover Prog


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Alan Parsons Project Pyramid album cover
3.32 | 249 ratings | 31 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1:
1. Voyager (2:24)
2. What Goes Up... (3:31)
3. The Eagle Will Rise Again (4:20)
4. One More River (4:15)
5. Can't Take It With You (5:06)
Side 2:
6. In The Lap Of The Gods (5:27)
7. Pyramania (2:45)
8. Hyper-Gamma-Spaces (4:19)
9. Shadow Of A Lonely Man (5:34)

Total Time: 37:44

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Stuart Elliott / drums, percussion
- Ian Bairnson / guitars
- David Paton / guitars, bass, vocals
- Alan Parsons / acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Eric Woolfson / keyboards
- Duncan MacKay / keyboards
- The English Chorale / backing choir
- Andrew Powell / orchestra & choir arranger and conductor
- Colin Blunstone / vocals
- Dean Ford / vocals
- David Paton / vocals
- Lenny Zakatek / vocals
- Jack Harris / vocals
- John Miles / vocals

Releases information

LP Arista 4180 (1978)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Pyramid ratings distribution


3.32
(249 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (35%)
35%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Pyramid reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Alan Parsons's third album came at the time that most prog giant groups were having difficulty putting out great records, and the slack had been picked-up by APP who was making concept albums, that most of progheads could sink their teeth into and get a meager meal out of it. Not that such albums as Pyramids , I Robot or Tales of EA Poe were bad , on the contrary (on top of being gorgeously produced, they had many fine songs that hit the airwaves) but in terms of prog contents , all APP were relatively lightweights. What Goes Up < Must Come Down is one of the most memorable tracks from that year but Hyper Gamma Spaces is also a highlight.

Had we been on a non-prog site this album might have received a higher rating.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#5578) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Followup to "I Robot", but also a notch down. I noticed Duncan MacKay cut back on the synthesizers a bit here, maybe because Alan PARSONS, Eric Woolfson & Co. wanted to move somewhat back to what they were doing on "Tales of Mystery and Imagination".

Still, the album's full of great songs. The opening is "Voyager", an instrumental in the grand tradition of APP, it then segues in to "What Goes Up". Eric Woolfson does some backup vocals on this song (although the album itself makes no mention of him doing any vocal duties here), so it comes across sounding like prog rock and (when Woolfson does the vocals) soft rock. "The Eagle Will Rise Again" is a nice acoustic ballad, not unlike "Some Other Time" off "I Robot". "Can't Take it With You" received some minor radio airplay, and I always thought this was one of the better cuts off the album. "In the Lap of the Gods" has a more Egyptian feel to it, plus John Leach adds on his cimbalom (Hungarian dulcimer) and kantele (Finnish zither). The end part turns to more typical ALAN PARSONS PROJECT fashion, complete with choir and orchestra. "Pyramania" is a short pop song with silly lyrics about pyramid obsession (in fact the front cover is about the song, and the person you see looking like he has a headache is none other than Alan PARSONS himself). This song also received some minor radio airplay itself (I actually remember when radio stations did play this song, and I was 5 years old back in 1978). "Hyper Gamma Space" is an wonderful synthesizer-dominated instrumental, complete with electric piano. The closing piece is "Shadow of a Lonely Man", which tends to be a rather orchestrated ballad.

The album in general isn't as good as "I Robot", but at least it's nowhere as bad as some of the stuff they did in the mid '80s such as "Vulture Culture" and "Stereotomy".

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#5581) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 26, 2004

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars I still remember the afternoon of 1979 when I went directly from school to the record store and discovered this amazing album from a new band ("Tales ..." and "I Robot" never reached Peruvian stores, so I had no information about APP), that first time in a cabin of a record store I thought it was one of the best prog' albums in history, and even though discovered very soon this wasn't true, still find it worth to listen once in a while

How can you describe a composer that is capable of a masterpiece like "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" but who after three years releases the mediocre "Eve"? I would say "uneven" term that IMO can also be used to describe "Pyramid", which has excellent "Light" Prog' songs combined with strong Rock and weak ballads.

The album is opened with two songs that sound almost as one long track, "Voyager" works as an introduction for the pompous "What Goes Up ...". which has the always solid classical orchestra and choirs arrangements by Andrew Powell, a great start for this album that introduces to the Egyptian atmosphere that Alan Parsons pretends to create.

"The Eagle will Rise Again" is one of those poppy ballads I spoke about before, soft and boring from start to end, not even the choirs can save this song, the weakest of this album. Good vocals by Colin Blunstone. but nothing else.

"One More River" is a very strong Rock track which Orchestral arrangements and a jazzy sax, a song that proves not everything has to be progressive to be very good, one of my favorites.

"Can't Take it with You" is a also a highlight, starts with a sweat flute or ocarina (not sure because it doesn't appear in the credits) solo which makes this tune unforgettable.

The best track in the whole album is the symphonic and bombastic "In the Lap of the Gods", with exiting arrangements again by Andrew Powell, starts soft and calm with an atmospheric Cimbalon by John Leach that helps to achieve the Egyptian feeling, near the end there's an oechesta and choir explosion of great beauty and strength.

"Pyramania" an absurd song that makes mockery about the 70's obsession about pyramids, only a pop track, but funny enough to be taken as a joke.

"Hyper-Gamma Spaces" is a strange song for this album, more electronic than prog' or rock oriented, would have been perfect in I Robot, not a bad track, but out of place in this album that pretends to based in ancient Egypt.

The album ends with "Shadow of a Lonely Man", another soft ballad which starts with a short piano solo followed by Orchestra and vocals, not boring as "The Eagle will Rise Again" but doesn't have enough strength to close this album, a bad choice.

A good but uneven album that mixes Art Rock with soft pop, only a shadow of "Tales of Mystery and Imagination" and weaker than "I Robot" but still much better and imaginative than any later album.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#5582) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Music of the future, and music of the past"

On each album, the Alan Parsons Project tend to leave their best for last, usually in the form of a passionately sung ballad. On "Pyramid", "Shadow of a lonely man" is no exception. With John Miles (remember his excellent "Music" album, lyrics - "Music was my first love, and it will be my last"?) taking lead vocals, the track builds during the choruses allowing him to flex his vocal prowess in a powerful crescendo.

I know an APP "Ballads" compilation has been released, and while putting them all together may not be the good idea it first sounds (variety being the spice of life), they really are what APP are best at.

The music of "Pyramid" is lightweight Art rock verging frequently on the melodic rock and pop rock. There's little which might be described as truly prog here. Bands such as The MOODY BLUES and BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST are probably the best reference points, but even here, think more of their lighter songs.

Of the other tracks, "The eagle will rise again" offers a credible pop ballad orientated number, while "Hyper-gamma-spaces" is one of Parson's ubiquitous almost trance like instrumentals.

The remaining of the tracks are pleasant easy listening, If you enjoy the music of the Alan Parsons Project, you'll enjoy "Pyramid", just don't expect any surprises.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#5580) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 28, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the most prominent highlights in The Alan Parsons Project's career, 'Pyramid' establishes a fusion of 'Tales' and 'I Robot': APP's idea is not cloning themselves for the sake of it, but mainly reaffirming their own signature sound, by managing to write and produce a repertoire that flows solidly from beginning to end, although there's not a continuous link between all nine tracks. 'Voyager' kicks off the album as a reflective starter, leading to 'What Goes Up...' (a meditation on the futility of all earthly things), then leading to 'The Eagle Will Rise Again' (a final melancholy thought upon determination for resurgence): the threesome are really very well integrated, thus stating the duality of ups and downs as the central point of 'Pyramid'. Next, 'One More River' reincides on the strength of determination in a pop-rock context, only to be segued into 'Can't Take It With You', which reminds us that by our time of dying, we shall leave all the things we struggled for behind us - the opening whistling feels quite creepy, actually. 'In the Lap of the Gods' is the most splendorous number in the album, a dazzling manifestation of symph prog where the orchestra, choir, and rock band interact with full majesty. Its abrupt end is followed a couple of seconds later by the bang of a gong, which is where the funny 'Pyramania' starts (something like APP's version of Supertramp's 'Dreamer'): its folly ambience is accurate for the lyrics, which mock at the new age pseudo-mystical stuff. 'Hyper-Gamma-Spaces' shows APP drawing closer to the electronic ambiences of J-M Jarre and Kraftwerk, while getting "rockier" than the former and not as "robotic" as the latter. This lush electronic exercise seems to be a celebration of the cosmic powers of creation and regeneration, but before things get too exulting, here comes 'Shadow of a Lonely Man'. This overwhelming symphonic ballad is nothing but a self-pitying, dramatic portrait of riches to rags, which serves as a reminder of the fact that all men and all things, no matter how grandiose, share a common fate of death and oblivion. All things must pass, and 'Pyramid' states it beautifully: a very recommended listen, and of course, a very recommended entry in any good prog collection.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#5583) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 30, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Alan PARSON is the king of catchiness and emotions here! No more sophisticated complex patterns. He proves here that complexity is not necessarily required to make an excellent album. All the songs are at least very good, and more: they are all very catchy and thus will retain your attention! That's a tour de force by PARSON! Sincerely, "Pyramid" is among my favorite ones from him. I have miscellaneous kinds of feelings when I listen to the tracks. "Voyager" was the theme of a jeans advertisement on TV; The poignant "What Goes Up" has a mix of romance, nostalgia and melancholy; The Elton JOHN esque "One More River" will give you a kick in the ass; The funny "Pyramania" will make you sing and beat the ground. "Hyper Gamma Spaces" announces a complete mastering of serious modern rythmic & melodic keyboards. You will notice that the lead & backing vocals are really among the main strength of this album.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#5584) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, August 15, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third album from APP, Pyramid is an excellent one, not of the calibre of TOMAI and I Robot but nevertheless a strong work keeping in the theme of concept albums.' Voyager' and ' What goes up..' get the album off to a fitting start and other great tracks include ' One more river' and ' In the lap of the Gods'. A rather unfavourable trend was beginning however and that is the advent of a soppy ballad at the end of the album. ' Shadow of a loney man' though not too bad!

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#5585) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars My first album expereince from APP was the slick but lackluster "Ammonia Avenue". My feelings for APP have always been dead-center ambivalence; I regard their place on the prog spectrum to be in the neighborhood of THE MOODY BLUES (especially the Moraz era) and ELO- i.e., more pleasant and approachable than novel or challenging. While I have a deep nostalgic appreciation for the Moodys, APP strikes me as more synthetic, more crisply and emotionlessly produced. When I was an over-exciteable pre-teen, I could enjoy ballads like "Don't Answer Me" and low-key creepers like "Eye in the Sky", but a friend who was a fan begged me to listen to one of the earlier albums to get a better feel for the depth of the band. I considered "Tales" and "I Robot" but my experience with musical adaptations of literature convinced me that "Pyramid" might be a better choice.

"Voyager" is a nice opening, a non-threatening fanfare laced with airy tendrils of synths, setting the stage perfectly for "What Goes Up". This song will tell you almost all you need to know about the band's sound: spartan, moody verses and surging choruses, sung in a flat European style, with almost characterless guitars and familiar early synth sounds. A powerful classical backing adds emphasis in places, without ever feeling out of place or tacked-on; the best compliment I can give is that every element is necessary and appropriate to the compositions. "The Eagle Will Rise Again" is more lush and mournful, and sounds suprisingly like a power ballad of the Euro-metal variety (except that it never bursts into distorted power chords...but this is '78, after all). "One More River" tries to be more funky and up-beat, perhaps with a nod to the "disco-prog" designs of ELO. The wailing synths in the background strike an eerie counterpoint to the eager drums and sax parts, and the vocals have more character than elsewhere...but it fails to add up to a good song, unfortunately. And "Can't Take it With You" continues the trend; pop that would love to be prog, or vice-versa. It does seem admirably ahead of it's time- it wouldn't have sounded any more dated in the mid-80s (it's not too far from several songs by Adrian Belew's THE BEARS, for instance, without the wonderful guitar work), but neither would it have been any more memorable.

The second side starts up promisingly: a pseudo-eastern atmosphere with portentious bells and millitary drums. The prog listener can't help but be tantalized by the title "In the Lap of the Gods", and for the most part the Dunsanian/ Arabian Nights feel fulfils the promise. Too soon, however, the slightly silly, bouncy rhythm section saps the possible strengths of the "O Fortuna" style chorus and orchestral bursts. Sad...this track could have been a winner! The same cannot be said for the dully goofy "Pyramania", which again presages some of the lower moments of the upcoming 80s, as does the burbling synth bass of "Hyper-Gamma-Spaces". Was Alan Parsons trying to combine Giorgio Moroder influences and PF instrumentals as "On the Run"? The finale is the over-the-top sentimentality of "Shadow of a Lonely Man", which begins in a very MOODY BLUES vein, almost an homage to the segways of "Days of Future Passed." The song itself is pretty...almost a Broadway feeling with the orchestral elements and reflective, though occasionally mawkish vocal. It's a little too obviously the "slow song", just as the two songs that ended the first side were transparently the "upbeat single" material, but as APP never really pretended to be anything but a commercial venture, we can perhaps forgive the blatant intentions.

For such a well-produced and smoothly progressing disc, the album is really a mixed bag. After the muddled wash of sound that Alan Parsons had lent to mid-period PINK FLOYD, I was impressed to hear how clear and detailed the recording was. Unfortunately, that may have robbed the album of some possibility of mystery; one can clearly hear the lack of any soulfulness. Because they are two completely different bands, I hate to make too close a comparison...but the funky blues and murky neurosis of PF is sorely lacking here. I would call it prog for radio, but even bands like STYX and SUPERTRAMP managed to achive a distinctive and occasionally quirky signature, whereas APP's "Pyramid" is truly forgettable...not bad, really, but I'll be willing to eat my shorts if anyone out there wants this album among their "desert island" collection.

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Send comments to James Lee (BETA) | Report this review (#5588) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 23, 2004

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars APP has always been a second-division prog for my taste. A lush and impeccable studio production of soft, pleasant AOR melodies and sweet harmony vocals, in the vein of SUPERTRAMP or sometimes even BEE GEES. Nothing wrong with that, I do like good pop music too, be it ABBA or Madonna, but we are speaking of prog here ! This album contains two songs - "Eagle will Rise Again" and "Shadow of a Lonely Man" that make BEE GEES sound almost avant-garde in comparison. They are simply too much for the demanding prog ears. The rest is OK, but just "OK", with most prog sounding "Lap of Gods" and "Can't Take It With You", while "Hyper Gamma Spaces" was a major hit that was sported by many TV and radio programmes in ex Yugoslavia in time of its release. A concept of Pyramid mystery is a bit pretentious and naive. A decent and pleasant work but far, far from "excellent addition". I would even rate it between 2,5-3, because those cheesy moments spoil the purity of the mark 3.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#35471) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a solid release with excellent production from the man who worked with Pink Floyd and the Beatles. It turns out he is also a good musician on his own. This album is easy listening electronic prog-pop (I have trouble categorizing this album). I say electronic because of the instrumentation heavily focused on electric keyboard and effects. I say prog because it is not the usual store album, it is in fact creative and complex. And I say pop because of the nice melodies, and song structures.

"Voyager" begins the album very strongly with a sci-fi energetic song that has very catchy rhythms and chord progressions. "What Goes Up" is a well done pop song with an interesting guitar solo. "The Eagle Will Rise Again" has a harpsichord-sounding keyboard playing an ascending riff combined with uplifting vocal melodies. "One More River" is a rock/pop song with a nice chorus and a saxophone solo, and has many changes in its four minutes. "Can't Take it With You" is a strong track with the best chorus of the album, which uses percussive touches, female choirs, and a pretty riff. "In The Lap of The Gods" is the most dynamic song of the album. after the church organ chord, a steady drumming pattern with acoustic guitar chords continue. Later, the song intensifies in the same beat using male choirs, keyboard touches, and glorious symphonic arrangements. The last parts of the song explode in dramatic male choirs and symphonic beauty. This is the most progressive song of the record, and also the most enjoyable. "Pyromania" is a goofy track with nice musical arrangements. "Hyper-Gamma Spaces" may be the most known track of the album. It is an electronic-rocker that seems to be influenced from Michael Jarre for the synth usage style. "Shadow of a Lonely Man" has a neat piano intro which almost drove me to sit down at the piano and learn it all. This song is a ballad with an orchestra.

Highlights : In The Lap Of The Gods

Let Downs : The Eagle Will Rise Again

This album is nearly flawless, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in easy listening music heavily dominated by synths. I do not give it 5 stars because it is not an album that blows you away, nor is absolutely brilliant in songwriting.

My Grade : B

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#43327) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 18, 2005

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's a good follow-up album after "I Robot" with the same style that has become the trademark of The Alan Parsons Project music. It starts with an ambient "Voyager" followed with an excellent mellow pop song with excellent melody "What Goes Up..." using some brass section which makes the music is rich in textures. What follows is another song with catchy melody "The Eagle Will Rise Again" and nice guitar fills. "One More River" is a pop-rocker with an upbeat style augmented with howling keyboard effects and acoustic guitar rhythm. "Can't Take It With You" maintains its solid style as The Alan Parsons Project's music with pop beats.

"In The Lap Of The Gods" shows good exploration of guitar and keyboards augmented with chorale / backing vocals and excellent orchestration. I imagine that this track is good for soundtrack music - film score. I realize that this track should be used in my next workshop because it can create good ambient for the class. The use of brass section provides excellent textures for the music. It's really an excellent track. "Pyramania" continues the previous track with a much more upbeat music and energetic vocal which reminds me to the music of Supertramp. "Hyper-Gamma-Spaces" intro part even gives more impression to Supertramp music until the pulsating keyboard sound enters the music. "Shadow Of A Lonely Man" is a nice and mellow track which concludes the album excellently; especially with the use of orchestra. No wonder, Andrew Powell is the Arranger and Conductor. This track has a very catchy melody and it characterizes the Alan Parsons Project music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#75714) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 21, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Alan Parsons is a pretty fashion-aware kind of guy, particularly when it comes to music. I suppose that’s what led him to pare back the large band of merrymen that accompanied the Project’s first two albums just a bit when he and Eric Woolfson put together Pyramid. Andrew Powell is still around to arrange the orchestral accompaniment, but it is quite a bit more restrained here, with an increased emphasis on rhythm, guitars, and vocals. The result is a pretty decent rock album with slight art rock tendencies, but like so many other progressive-leaning bands of the late 1970s, the sound is more contemporary and less adventurous than their earlier work. This is an album that appears to be centered around the nebulous concept of man’s history, knowledge, and the loss and rediscovery of our awareness of both. Sounds like something a university anthropology professor might write if they had artistic tendencies.

Once again Parsons leads an album off with a spacey instrumental, in this case “Voyager”. And once again he creates some interesting tempos that he fails to fully develop, leaving once again a sense of disappointment as the track transitions into “What Goes Up”. This song is sung by now-longtime contributor David Paton, who also plays some bass on the album. The lyrics here are confusing at best:

“What goes up must come down; what must rise, must fall. And what goes on in your life is writing on the wall.

If all things must fall, why build a miracle at all? If all things must pass, even a miracle won't last.”

True enough I suppose, but kind of depressing. But then Parsons ends with this little proverb:

“What goes up must come down; what goes round must come round. What's been lost, must be found.”

So then if all else fails I suppose we (as civilizations) can at least serve as lessons to others in later civilizations. Somehow that’s not much comfort (to me, at least).

Next up is “The Eagle Will Rise Again” featuring ex-Zombies singer Colin Blunstone in a mild, brooding ballad featuring slightly off-key female backing and acoustic accompaniment, both of which are a bit unusual for the Project. Like the Edgar Allen Poe opening poem for the “Tales…” album, the message here is the ‘dust in the wind’ epiphany:

“And the days of my life are but grains of sand, as they fall from your open hand –

at the call of the wind's command.”

This is really a strange song for this album, which I can only assume Parsons was hoping would emerge as a hit single for the adult contemporary market. It didn’t.

Lenny Zakatek sings on “One More River” with its “keep a-pushin’ on” theme. Zakatek is an interesting guy. He was born in Karachi but grew up in England, and was pretty much an anonymous journeyman musician before Parsons started including him in the Project’s albums. Zakatek would make a bit of a name for himself as the most recognizable voice on “Turn of a Friendly Card” a couple years later. This one also introduces a fairly prominent horn section, including a decent saxophone solo (although really – have you ever heard a bad saxophone solo? It’s just one of those instruments that almost always adds to a song).

“Can’t Take it With You” is a logical sentiment for an album with a theme like this one’s. But the choice of former sixties’ crooner Dean Ford on vocals is an odd choice. This is pure pop rock with only an attempt at art leanings in the minor percussion and sound effects. The beat and guitar licks are right out of 1965, as is Ford’s voice. A really strange tune for a Project album.

The “In the Lap of the Gods”-“Pyramania”-“Hyper-Gamma Spaces” is the highlight of this album. Parsons sandwiches a short vocal piece between two longer instrumentals to create a kind of epic journey-like feel, complete with middle eastern percussion and synthesized reed sounds, along with a bit of flute and heavy organ for added mysterious effect. It’s about a thirteen minute tribute to Egypt and the pyramids, except that the short vocal tracks right in the middle are accented with choppy keyboards and vocals that sound like something the Buggles would have done. Really weird, and I’ve never quite figured out what the point to this was. The two instrumentals would have fit together very well to form a very decent progressive piece were it not for the “Pyramania” track that completely ruins the mood. I especially like the organ on “Hyper-Gamma Spaces”.

The end comes with John Miles doing “Shadow of a Lonely Man”, another track about a man lamenting his morality (and apparently his fleeting fame). This is a heavy orchestrated piece that actually sounds like a Broadway musical work. I’m guessing that’s what Parsons intended, although knowing Woolfson’s penchant for the big stage, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was the driving force behind this one. Again, I fail to get the point of its inclusion here, but it’s not a bad tune.

So this is another step slightly down in terms of creativity for Parsons, although again he delivers a technically perfect studio work. There’s just a bit lacking in continuity of the theme, and the wide range of styles (particularly on “Can’t Take it With You”, “Pyramania”, and “Shadow of a Lonely Man”) are actually a bit distracting.

And this is not in any way a progressive music album, probably not even in the realm of art rock. It’s just a halfway decent pop album. And for that it gets two stars (2.5, but that doesn’t really make much difference).

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#93794) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 08, 2006

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I've decided to revisit the few APP LP's I've hung on to and submitted a (possibly) harsh review on 'Tales...' , so to put it in line - I think it's vocalist Lenny Zakatek who is the pop- star and I don't agree that his voice and singing style compliment the fairly decent music behind him (he didn't appear on the debut, thankfully). It just seems a bit overdone. This, of course, is just an opinion. If it's Eric Woolfson who sings on the excellent 'What Goes Up...' then why couldn't he sing all the vocals ?? Anyway, this album, 'Pyramid', whilst not fully blown prog, has a consistent quality throughout and the 'cheeze' level is bumped down a notch or two, more focused perhaps. Starting with another brilliant instrumental, 'Voyager', which segues into 'What Goes Up..', is the strongest opening to any APP album I've heard. The band is superb at creating a deep sounding atmosphere and carrying it across to an accessible format. 'The Eagle Will Rise Again', has a beautiful vocal sung by ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone, with equally beautiful music. 'One More River' is the only real low point on the album here, which is a straight-ahead rocker with vocals I don't enjoy. 'Can't take it With You' is a decent song, complete with a Gilmour-esque guitar solo. Side 2 kicks off with a heavily arranged, epic instrumental 'In the Lap of the Gods', with it's many changes, quite adventurous and engaging. 'Pyramania' is a quirky little ditty (some may say 'low point'), quite poppy, but doesn't outstay it's welcome, just a bit of fun. Next up, the 4/4 beat laden electronic sounds of 'Hyper-Gamma-Spaces' fuses pop with space-rock, with a most successful outcome. The last track, 'Shadow of a Lonely Man'; a big, orchestrated ballad, and one of the better ones from the Project, finishes the album off nicely. Without a doubt, this is my personal fave from Parsons and crew, and their elaborately arranged pop music can appeal to even the most stringent prog-head.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#99956) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
4 stars The Poe-themed debut of APP was never surpassed, especially what comes to the excitement of the songs, but my second best album of them is definitely this one. For a new listener, even for a totally non-prog person, Pyramid is perhaps the best place to start. It has some of the finest moments of the band, with a superb sound - too bad that it has some lows too. And that it is a bit short (under 38 minutes).

Instrumental 'Voyager' starts a wonderful quartet of tracks, setting the spellbinding tone with an airy synth intro and a pulsating beat, then turning seamlessly into 'What Goes Up...'. It's easy to remember who was the engineer of Dark Side of the Moon! 'The Eagle Will Rise Again' is a melancholic, even sentimental beauty reminiscent of 'Old & Wise' from Eye in the Sky - both are sung by Colin Bluntstone. This one's better. 'One More River' is sung by Lenny Zakatek, and though I dislike his vocal style in other APP songs, it works here brilliantly. But again it's the perfectionistic touch of the sound architect that makes this track soar gorgeously. The A side is finished by a song about the inevitability of dying. It's not in the same level as the tracks before it and even the nice refrain taken from 'One More River' doesn't save it from getting slightly boring within five minutes.

B side is weaker. 'In the Lap of the Gods' is a pompous instrumental with a choir, quite fine really but it lacks the airyness of the first side. 'Pyramania' then is a jokelike little song sung in high falsetto. It's amusing but nothing more. 'Hyper-Gamma-Spaces' is one of those dull high tech instrumentals that APP has done more than needed. But the final song is just lovely. 'Shadow of A Lonely Man' is sung very beautifully by John Miles (who, by the way, has some proggy solo albums considerable of adding here...). If you're not turned on by deep emotions in music it may be too sentimental to you. To me it was THE song of the summer of '90 (when I bought this LP). Pyramid is very recommendable for admirers of perfect production and adventurous or emotional feelings in music.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#114924) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The Alan Parsons Project's third studio album was called Pyramid and like its predecessors has a concept or overarching theme to the album. This time it covers that 1970s fad on the supposed magical properties of pyramids. But it's more than just that. It also views yesterday through the eyes of today, whereas on I Robot, it viewed tomorrow through the eyes of today. So in some regards, Pyramid could be considered the antithesis of I Robot. Parsons and his cohort Eric Woolfson clearly spent some time developing their concepts. The only problem is, they increasingly wrote their music for a radio-friendly audience. I can't blame them for that. After all, they have bills to pay like the rest of us. It's just that Pyramid would have been much more suitable as a full-fledged progressive rock album.

Pyramid had fewer guest appearances than prior APP albums. Among the guests were Lenny Zakatek (who increasingly became an APP regular), John Miles, and Colin Bluntstone (best known as the vocalist for the Zombies). Like previous albums, Pyramid is chiefly a pop rock album with slight "progressive tendencies." APP would continue to lean in this direction throughout the remainder of its existence, but never being entirely a pop rock affair.

Musically and lyrically, Pyramid is a large notch below the quality of I Robot and because it is much more pop rock-based than I Robot and Tales, I can't possibly give it more than two stars. For collectors and fans only. I would recommend starting with their debut album.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#153938) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 03, 2007

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
2 stars Pyromania

The material on this album is very lightweight, even in comparison with other works by the Alan Parsons Project. The opening creates an interesting atmosphere, but by the third similarly soft rock song in a row, this album cries out for a rocker. One More River is the first rocker on the album, but it is more of a Rock 'N' Roll number, very much in the vein of Elton John. Even the vocals sound like Elton's!

In The Lap Of The Gods is fairly interesting symphonic prog number, but still rather lightweight. Pyramania is so horrible that it hurts my brain! Skip this one unless you want to go seriously insane! Hyper-Gamma Spaces is an instrumental that could have been a theme song to some cartoon. The last song is a symphonic ballad, decent but rather forgettable.

As always with the Project, this album is very well-produced and overall very well-crafted. But that is not enough to make a good album.

Only for fans and collectors this one.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#191628) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One of Alan Parson's Project best albums, still strong prog and eletronic influenced, although the pop vein was becoming only too apparent (as a song like the last track, Shadow Of A Lonely Man, clearly shows). The Project was kind of embraced by progheads when they released their first album Tales Of Mystery And Imagination, but the members of the project themselves never claimed to be prog and the fact that they always had a knack for melodic and simple structured songs (even on that first LP) seemed to escape all APP's detractors minds.

Anyway, the music of Pyramid is, as usual for APP's all works, coming from a concept: the pyramids, its supposed secrets and the fascination men always had about them through the centuries. The lyrics are quite interesting and the music around them is very sophisticated prog pop. It is hard to label APP's music at least at this point, since the songs, arrangements and lyrics were too elaborated to be simplified as pure pop and are also too melodic for some progheads. Still, maybe tht's exactly were its appeal lies: they were certainly quite unique and had not dated with time.

As someone mught have guessed by AP's works, his production in a work of art on itself. The same can be said of his engineering of the album, absolutely flawless. Eric Woolfson's (and Parsons) songwriting is great. The musicians are very skilled and the choice of singers is also very well done. Everything might sound a little too tame for the more radicals, but even at their most simple you can't say those guys din't put their hearts on it. Maybe that's why Pyramid still sounds fresh, modern and exciting 30 years after.

If you don't mind some great melodic, lightweighted prog, this is surely a good CD to have. I wouldn't call it essential on a prog site, but it a great piece of music anywhere. So, 3,5 stars seems to me to be a good rating.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#194153) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
5 stars 01. Voyager The beginning of the disc opens with a touch stronger, the guitars from the beginning make a friendly tone, the layers of keyboards go over to low and battery. A short introduction.

02. What Goes Up ... For that between What Goes Up ... and its great chorus, brings me a peace and a comfort that chorus, the back and intricate open space for the anguished refrain without equal. Very nice guitar break and more of guitar solos. The second part means Beatles means fanfare is unique, a work of impeccable production and composition.

03. The Eagle Will Rise Again The stronger of the band are the ballads with property (you know those songs we all heard beautiful and wonder who it is?) Of the third disc does not escape the rule and start amended the track 2, without a doubt Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson composers are sensational. Melody sensational, the vocias in the background, the guitar. And the most exciting refrões sticky and return to the scene, there is a disc tire as well, with no certainty.

04. One More River One More River back more animated and with an emphasis on low David Patton effects and full of beautiful passages, corretíssimos voice to the song (have to choose the voice), slowed amid a strategic, orchestra and band together and a wonderful solo of sax. Back to the feeling that everything is correct and that the disc can not stop. Emotional end for the entry of the next song.

05. Can not Take It With You What starts with an Egyptian climate means (after all we are talking about pyramids here), then follows a very cool riff, with emphasis on the voice too. Chorus and cool. Vocalizations, great beds of keyboards and sounds. Desert! Steadily. Battery in the front. Excellent voice and a great guitar break. More Egypt (until they had little of Egypt on the disc, since it focused more on the subject greed, which is represented by the signal pyramids), a very good end for music.

06. In The Lap Of The Gods Bells (we already know from where they took David Gilmour of The Division Bell). More sensational body in front giving climão for music, then a march cash (drums), guitars setting the tone. What I would call bandolins (not sure if it is) give a special touch, the music is full of climates that the orchestra does, is tense, but beautiful. And the choir gives an epic touch, the Renaissance everything. The reserve in the middle of a broken electric piano all different and cool, then followed suit by the blows of the orchestra, it has half the influence of bands like Therion and Haggard. Violins, they could not miss, huh! On lap cos Gods literally.

07. Pyramania Pyramania begins with a keyboard and a voice (both legal and funny and well), line of low and very well built solid base. A well Pagannini instrumental part (of a strange way) and la la las take account of the speakers, a song you tell us relaxed on the paranoid piramidescos (laughter).

08. Hyper-Gamma-Spaces This is instrumental in the way of Pink Floyd (the band's big influence), more or less in line On The Run, a footprint of synthesizer not to, will only modulates the notes while another does the melodies. I love these instruments. Travel without leaving the armchair or sofa.

09. Shadow Of A Lonely Man It is beautiful here, if I had to pick a song would be in doubt between What Goes Up ..., and Shadow Of A Lonely Man, two songs and beautiful without equal on all disks as the band always has. The top orchestra, the piano always in front, the perfect voice, emocionanal in a simple and beautiful melody, I respond to heart if it is not just beautiful? Every disc that would have a final as good as this.

The disc is fairly short, but all discs of the band are well and also do not need a disc that a disc has more than an hour for being good (by contrast, sometimes too long disks get boring). A great band that should be remembered more than usually.

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#197369) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 05, 2009

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
2 stars One would think that, if any subject deserves respect and homage, it would be the pyramids and the sweat and back breaking that it took to create them. Yet for APP's third album we are stuck with an insipid collection of tracks that, for the most part, could not support a papier machier facsimile of a pyramid. Worse yet, the album falters so badly after the first few tracks that it seems that the inspiration was a few dozen notches short of monumental.

APP continues its pattern of an instrumental opener and "Voyager" is decent if a trifle short. "What Goes Up" is interesting but also somewhat undeveloped. This is even more so for "The Eagle will Rise Again", which is highlighted by sumptuous verses, only to be undone by a lacklustre chorus. From here things go downhill. "One More River" is musically a mundane rocker and lyrically rather lightweight, and "Can't Take it With You" flirts with Parsons' winning formula while ultimately failing to execute. "In the Lap of The Gods" is probably the best overall cut, actually sounding somewhat Egyptian and tastefully orchestrated. But "Pyramania" is worthy of SPARKS, which isn't saying much, and the closer, "Shadow of a Lonely Man" is a rather unconvincing string heavy ballad.

"Pyramid" marks a decline for APP from which they never quite recovered. Although several much stronger efforts followed, their glory days, like the achievements of the pyramids, were relegated to the past. Barely 2 stars.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#212237) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, April 23, 2009

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars In 1978, if you would have told me ''What Goes Up, Must Come Down'', I would have immediately answered: Chris Spedding & The Vibrators (''Pogo Dancing'' of course) rather than this mellowish synth ballad.

What I mean, is that I showed little interest for these type of recordings at the time of release and I discovered this one almost twenty-five years later. And I'm not very much impressed.

This album is full of ballads, pop oriented and mostly dull songs although there are as usual an impressive guest list (Colin Blunstone and John Miles being the best known). While changing directions; it is to display such a song as ''One More River''. Press next type of stuff: poor melody, string arrangements and so on. Great saxing though (for about forty seconds).

Most of the tracks aren't really memorable, and even if the listening is not a bad experience, it is not thrilling either. This is easy listening music that could be played on ''The Night Of The Proms'' easily (''In The Lap Of The Gods''). But not during the night of the prog if you see what I mean.

The ''Buggles'' plastic ''Pyromania'' sounds as ''réchauffé'' (rehashed). Way behind what had been achieved by the former. The best track (and also the best known) is by no doubt ''Hyper- Gamma Spaces''. As César mentioned, there is a strong ''Kraftwerk'' feel in here. A nice and jumpy electronic pop track. But it is not enough to make this album a good one. Just average as far as I am concerned.

Two stars (or five out of ten).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#221908) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Featuring a terrific start with the criminally-short but highly emotive and atmospheric instrumental piece 'Voyager', this third effort from the pop-prog collective sadly loses it's way soon after getting bogged down by a selection of unremarkable and frankly rather gooey ballads designed to broaden the group's commercial appeal. After the terrific 'Tales Of Mystery & Imagination' and the equally imaginative follow-up 'I Robot', founding members Alan Parsons and Eric Wolfson have opted here to eschew the sci-fi/horror concepts that gave their initial albums such a mysterious flavour in favour of a less appealing and rather confused subject(or, surely, amalgamation of subjects) that blends the myths of ancient Egypt with the conventional human problems of love and loss, simultaneously losing focus of what made their partnership so intriguing yet opening themselves up to the mass markets of mainland Europe and North America with their adherence to formulaic pop constructions to great effect. That said, 'Pyramid' does feature some excellent moments, and once again the production values are top-notch, with former Pink Floyd engineer Parsons bringing his considerable bag of technical tricks back to the table, giving the album a slick commercial sheen many others would be envious of. Musically speaking, however, 'Pyramid' must go down as an opportunity wasted. The pace is generally slow, with only the delicate balladry of 'What Goes up' featuring any genuine emotional warmth, the rest of the album a hard slog through pop mediocrity. Gone too are any real notions that this is a progressive outfit, though, happily, this would be remedied to some degree on later efforts. A real disappointment then, 'Pyramid' is a confused and schematic album of undistinguished pop-rock from people who should know better. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#636383) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The follow up to "I Robot" is a concept album based on the pyramids of Giza. As usual for APP, it's the result of the top-notch production this band has accustomed us to. No wonder that the album was also nominated for the 1978 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album.

Nevertheless, it can't be considered at the very same level of its predecessor. Music is slightly predictable, without any pure flash of genious.

Ok, there are many interesting instrumental songs as the excellent opener "Voyager" and the hypnotic "Hyper-Gamma Spaces" (in the vein of "I Robot" and a killer instrumental), sumptuous symphonic arrangements as in "Shadow of a Lonely Man" or "In the Lap of the Gods" (superb number), but not enough for a full musical pleasure.

Nothing that really stands out in the memory quite like some moments on a couple of other albums. It's music easy to digest yet still very interesting and deep. Still recommended.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#640315) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 24, 2012

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
3 stars I guess you got to be in a special kind of mood to appreciate this tastily comestible prog-pop fruit but only if you take into account APP's strongest assets: pristine production and expert musicianship as well as a sprinkling of exemplary tracks. Problem is there are always a few sucky songs that prevent their albums to be spectacularly revered by the prog community. This album has the difficult chore of following what was arguably a career high with the sublime "I Robot" and in many ways the expectations are unachievable. That being clearly stated, Pyramid has a few gems, a slew of enjoyable pop hits and the odd clunker.

The Killer tracks: "Voyager" is, as often the case with APP, a lovely overture, full of inspiration and mood. The sensational "In the Lap of Gods" is among the best instrumentals Parsons and Project have come up with, flush with abundant Andrew Powell orchestrations that defy the notion of brilliance. "Hyper-Gamma-Spaces" is a classic trance-dance-ambulance that has a riveting red-light beat and cool mood effects from the lush e-piano. The finale "Shadow of a Lonely Man" has Supertramp-like tendencies with some ELO style orchestrations and works well within those accepted confines.

The Pop tracks: "What Goes Up" is a typical time period musical anecdote, breezy rhythm and sultry lilt. T'was a minor radio hit. "The Eagle Will Rise Again" is an utterly ravishing melody, a lively chorus and deep emotion oozing from Colin Blunstone's expressive voice "Can't Take It with You" is enjoyable, with a hook chorus and some decent pop tendencies. "Pyramania" sounds like the Sparks, squeaky voice and quirky rhythms but it's brief and funny.

Clunker? "One More River", a totally uninspiring piece of formulaic nothing. A sax by numbers helps little to medicate the pain.

3.5 popular monuments

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#817657) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 09, 2012

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Alan Parsons Project are a band that I have encountered mainly on compilations, though I thoroughly enjoyed "I, Robot" and "Tales of Mystery and Imagination". It has always been a bit hit and miss with their albums, some tracks are downright classics and others are rather mediocre. As with other albums "Pyramid" has some genuine treasures and others fade from memory immediately after the album has ended. The delightful thing about this album is it has very progressive moments particularly the instrumental sections with the dynamic opener "Voyager", and this is followed seamlessly by the very melodic infectious "What Goes Up?"that I couldn't get out of my head for ages. The bassline is delightful pulsating along on a monotone Daft Punk setting.

The third track is also excellent with soft tranquil vocals and gentle melodies on "The Eagle Will Rise Again". All three tracks feature on "The Definitive Collection" 2 CD compilation and are songs I have returned to often. After this killer opening things settle into contemporary AOR rock on the uptempo "One More River" and "Can't Take It With You", that received some airplay and is very poppy. It is a terrific side one so one would hope for more of this quality on the flip side.

Side two returns to APP at their best with a blast of prog on "In The Lap Of The Gods" that I adored on first listen with its Egyptian nuances. The beautiful melody is haunting and conjures Egyptian imagery; it works on the conscious level and again remains embedded in the memory with its simple synth lines and majestic vocals. "Pyramania" is a popular melody driven track singing of obsessions with pyramids with amusing lyrics, but I always look forward to the wonderful instrumental that follows.

"Hyper-Gamma-Spaces" is my favourite track on the album with a memorable keyboard phrase from legendary Woolfson, and it has a groove that locks in with bass and drums. It is certainly in my top 5 tracks of Alan Parsons Project. The melody is simple and repeated but it is totally effective, and it resonates along a fast tempo sequenced synth line. The album finishes with "Shadow Of A Lonely Man" that is lightweight and pleasant but is an anticlimax after all the progressive elements.

Overall, "Pyramid" is a solid album from The Alan Parsons Project. I can recommend it for at least 4 incredible tracks, and it feels very much like the incredible art rock on "I, Robot" that also opened with 3 brilliant tracks. My gut reaction on first listen was this was worth 3 stars, but it soon grew on me with every listen and I would rank this as good as "I, Robot" so 4 stars is well deserved on a very catchy melodic 1978 album; one of the best from this innovative artist.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#895438) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 18, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars "Pyramid" is Alan Parsons Project's" third studio album and as on earlier record they band is a lot of people. the information here on Prog Archives gives me the number of eleven musicians and a choir, even if that number is smaller than before. Pyramid was released in 1978 and on the expressi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1160595) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Saturday, April 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars After I Robot, The Alan Parsons Project seemed to settle into a formula, and while they made many good albums using this formula, there's something lacking on this release. It's not that there are no good melodies or sounds; in fact the lyrics are all good and have progressed since the last a ... (read more)

Report this review (#545408) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Friday, October 07, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is not bad..... but it has very little relation to Prog at all.... 'In the Lap of Gods' anf 'Hyper Gammai Spaces' are strong instrumental tracks. The rest of the album is very radio friendly and not very progressive. It's better than your average pop album..... but it's basically a pop album. ... (read more)

Report this review (#163851) | Posted by digdug | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars One of the better of The Alan Parsons Project's albums. Cathes the spirit of their earliest music, and gives an insight into what will their compositions be like later on. As usual for TAPP, the songs themselves mostly are not particularly progressive, but it is the overal composition and the r ... (read more)

Report this review (#87670) | Posted by Ampersand | Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is really good. It is perfect with my other prog rock and classic rock collection. I see alot of people don't like the song "The Eagle Will Rise Again". This is my favorite song on the album. It has a nice twelve string with a nice melody and beautiful lyrics and singing. The other ... (read more)

Report this review (#60106) | Posted by | Sunday, December 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I've owned or listened to all 10 albums from 1976-1987, i.e., TOMAI to Gaudi (so not counting 1983 "Best of"). My favourites are I Robot, Pyramid, Turn of a Friendly Card, and Eye in the Sky. Don't have Eve anymore, don't remember liking it. Found albums after 'Eye' (1982) had one or two good son ... (read more)

Report this review (#53748) | Posted by | Saturday, October 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's very strange and this only happens maybe with certain albums...If you analize it, this album is not so progressive as thier predecessors TOMAI and IR, but this one has what I now would baptise as "Prog rock for dummies". Songs like The Eagle Will Rise Again, One More River and Can't Take ... (read more)

Report this review (#5586) | Posted by Carlos | Saturday, September 04, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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