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Alan Parsons The Secret album cover
3.08 | 59 ratings | 5 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Instrumental) (5:44)
2. Miracle (3:22)
3. As Lights Fall (3:58)
4. One Note Symphony (4:43)
5. Sometimes (5:08)
6. Soiree Fantastique (5:27)
7. Fly to Me (3:45)
8. Requiem (4:02)
9. Years of Glory (4:05)
10. The Limelight Fades Away (3:36)
11. I Can't Get There from Here (4:38)

total time: 48:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Parsons / Guitars, Synth, Keyboards, Lead Vocal (3,6)
- Jason Mraz / Vocals, Lead Vocal (2)
- Todd Cooper / Vocals, Lead Vocal (4,6,8)
- Lou Gramm / Vocals, Lead Vocal (5)
- Mark Mikel / Vocals, Lead Vocal (7)
- Pj Olsson / Vocals, Lead Vocal (9)
- Jordan Asher Huffman / Vocals, Lead Vocal (10)
- Jared Mahone / Vocals, Lead Vocal (11)
- Steve Hackett / Guitars (1)
- Jeff Kollman / Guitars
- Dan Tracey / Guitars
- Tony Rosacci / Guitars
- Ian Bairnson / Solo Guitars (9)
- Andy Ellis / Synth, Keyboards
- Tom Brooks / Synth, Keyboards
- Dan Tracey / Synth, Keyboards
- Pat Caddick / Piano
- Angelo Pizzaro / Piano
- Nathan East / Bass (1)
- Guy Erez / Bass
- Jeff Peterson / Bass
- Vinnie Colaiuta / Drums (1)
- Danny Thompson / Drums
- Carl Sorensen / Drums
- Todd Cooper / Sax
- Michael Fitzpatrick / Cello
The CMG Music Recording Orchestra of Hollywood:
- Alan Parsons / Percussion
- Jake Shimabukuro / Ukulele
- Oscar Utterstr?m / Trombones
- Vinnie Ciesielski / Trumpets

Releases information

Label: Frontiers Records S.R.L.
Format: CD, CD+DVD, LP (Standard & Color), Digital, Box Set that includes CD+DVD Deluxe Edition, 180g Gatefold Vinyl, the rare "LiveSpan" 2CD set, exclusive T-shirt (size: XL for US retailers, L for all European retailers), Poster, Numbered Lithograph (album cover)
April 26, 2019

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Aussie-Byrd-Brother for the last updates
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ALAN PARSONS The Secret ratings distribution

(59 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

ALAN PARSONS The Secret reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by admireArt
2 stars It will be pointless to measure or rate both, the Alan Parsons Project or Band, according to the ever existing closeness his albums and artistic goals have with mainstream Pop music and the real distance with Prog music.

In fact he only has some Progressive Electronic songs (which this release has none) or symphonic oriented arrangements buried under tons of Pop / mild-Rock albums. Of course some of his his cover artworks were all Prog but that is another matter.

He, a master of repeating the same formulas and coming up with new disguises, releases under his Bandīs discography (or under these archives listings), The Secret (2019).

An 11 track album with a wholesome list of vocalists & collaborators to add some punch to his ever recurring musical ideas (cheesy ones included).

Music composition wise it is an unsurprising mixture between his style, The Beatlesī & Peter Gabrielīs Pop side, some semi classical symphonic arrangements here and there and a cover of "The Sorcererīs Apprentice" (composed by Paul Dukas) which together conform the overall mood of this work.

Now as for rating Pop/mild Rock albums in a Progressive Music site is quiet funny to say the least, but Pop or not I wouldnīt hold on to this one but I can bet his fans will be delighted...

2.5 PA stars.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Fifteen years on from the last Alan Parsons studio release, 2004's electronica-influenced `A Valid Path', the man and his revolving door line-up of musical collaborators return with `The Secret', a themed album based around the art of magic, a long-time fascination for the artist. Although hardly some full-blown prog-rock concept piece, what we have here is an impeccably produced and absolutely reliable selection of soft rock/pop tunes and elegant ballads with tasteful vocals, soothing harmonies and grand orchestration, all in the classic Alan Parsons Project tradition.

Parsons and his assembled musical cohorts play their prog card right from the start; Hoping to make you instantly forget of Mickey Mouse and Disney's `Fantasia', former Genesis guitarist playfully rips through an adaption of `The Sorcerer's Apprentice' with plenty of pomp and spectacle, almost sounding as if it's wandered off one of Clive Nolan's theatrical projects! Pop singer Jason Mraz sings `Miracle', a harmless tune that sets much of the standard formula here, sounding like plenty of Alan Parsons Project tracks and albums past, being a mid-tempo pop-rocker with chiming electric guitars, melodic soloing, a memorable chorus and contemplative lyrical themes.

Alan himself takes the lead vocal on `As Lights Fall', a pleasant soft-rocker that reminds of plenty of Steve Hackett solo discs and could have easily fit onto the early Eighties Camel albums. Based around the moon landing, spoken word samples and dramatic orchestration ripples through the more epic `One Note Symphony', helping make it one of the `proggier' spots of the disc. `Sometimes' is one of those big and swooning emotional ballads that were always a Project trademark, with Foreigner's Lou Gramm's dignified voice filling the role that Project mainstay, the late Eric Woolfson, would have delivered years back.

Exquisitely sun-kissed, multi-part harmonies throughout its chorus makes `Soiree Fantastique' one of the absolute standout tracks of the set, and the nasally snarl to guest singer Mark Mikel's voice on the dreamy `Fly to Me' will make many listeners instantly think of the Beatles (lovely shimmering guitar solo on this one too). The rollicking `Requiem' is peppered with sax and horn blasts, `Years of Glory' is another sighing ballad, and `The Limelight Fades Away' is a simple rocker enlivened by a catchy chorus. Closer `I Can't Get There from Here' is a rousing piano and orchestration-lifted ballad to send every listener away in a great mood.

The album could easily have done with a couple of longer vocal-free sections or even another purely instrumental piece, but if you've always dug the Project and now Alan Parsons `solo' discs, `The Secret' fits in nicely alongside many of the LP's in their back-catalogue, essentially picking up right where 1984's `Vulture Culture' left off. So while the prog-rock touches are minimal, you get a collection of classy tunes with confident vocals that make for an undemanding and pleasing background listen, all wrapped in the studio polish expected of Mr Parsons.

Three stars, but Parsons/Project fans should absolutely adore it and can add a whole other star.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars This is the first album from Mr. Parsons in some fifteen years, and far longer in my mind since Project was indispensable. Most lovers of good solid music will have at least one of his first four albums in their collection, while many of us have all (can it really be forty years since 'Eve'?), but over the years he has moved continents, experimented with different musical style including electronic, but in many ways this is a look back to the soft rock prog style he enamoured us with all those years ago. I really wish he hadn't started with the instrumental "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", as although it is a fine rendition and Steve Hackett (who is highlighted as guest guitarist for the album but in fact only plays on this) is obviously enjoying himself, but for me this will always be Mickey Mouse and mops carrying buckets. Parsons is using his orchestral arrangement skills here, and it is pleasant but not earth shattering and quite at odds with the rest of the album.

Guitarist Ian Bairnson (who played on all the APP albums) is back working with Alan again, who also brought in the normal revolving door of guests including singers Jason Mraz and Lou Gramm. It would have been interesting to hear Parsons attempt more of his vocals, as the soft rocker "As Lights Fall" on which he features is one of the highlights in a Camel-esque manner. But, the vast majority of the album is middle of the road and pleasant while never being earth- shattering. It is a very long time since I first heard "(The System Of) Doctor Tarr And Professor Fether", and I still much prefer that over anything here, but it is a solid release and fans will be pleased he has again released something in a similar vein to the old days.

Review by Matti
3 stars The previous Alan Parsons album, Valid Path (2004), sounded to me so bad that I only gave it one quick listening years ago. Surely I wasn't expecting much of it anyway (I was familiar with the first Project-less album Try Anything Once, which was fairly ok if rather forgettable), but electronica-oriented Valid Path sounded totally wrong and worthless and uninspired. Now the legendary producer is s back with a recent album that I've heard is some sort of return to form -- albeit not in a sense that it would be much progressive like the early albums of The Alan Parsons Project are. So, let's see how this pop album manages to impress me, free of any false prog-expectations.

The instrumental opener 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' is an orchestrated and pretty cleverly rocked-up version of Paul Dukas' orchestral poem known from the Disney film Fantasia. It certainly has its merits, but it's too pompous to be compared to the atmospheric openers on the APP albums. 'Miracle' is a decent, chorus-repeating pop song comparable to the mediocre Mike + the Mechanics stuff, with vocals by Jason Mraz. 'As Lights Fall' is sung by Parsons himself; the steady bass pulse takes my mind back to the Eye in the Sky era, but nor is this middle-of-the-road song very interesting for repeated listenings.

'One Note Symphony' features the album's main vocalist Todd Cooper (who's well in line with the voices that the Project used to have) to do the robotic one-note vocals. At least this piece steps aside from the dull safety zone! 'Sometimes' is an orchestrated soft rock ballad sung by slightly rasp-voiced Lou Gramm (FOREIGNER). Pleasant. Quite good in fact. The next, calm and slightly melancholic song with beautifully harmonised vocals by Cooper and Parsons, is even better. I also enjoy laid-back 'Fly to Me' in which Mark Mikel has a Lennon-like voice. 'Requiem' has a bluesy/jazzy atmosphere and Todd Cooper is very good on vocals.

'Years of Glory' is a tender ballad with romantic string arrangement and good vocals of P.J. Olsson, the best Colin Bluntstone substitute that Parsons has used. But wait, also Jared Mahone on the final tender song 'I Can't Get There from Here' sounds a bit like Bluntstone. All in all, The Secret pretty well fulfils the expectations of the listener who enjoys well produced and arty soft pop with orchestral ingredients. Despite some forgettable songs, I must admit that my overall impression is on the positive side. If you have liked Alan Parsons [Project] also without notable prog elements, you'll find this album fairly pleasant.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Alan Parsons pulls a Pink Floyd and releases an album well after there was any real prospect of a new studio recording. Whereas Floyd went 22 years, Parsons went 15 between releases. Both groups looked to the past for the inspiration. PF dug up tapes from the aborted ambient album and leftove ... (read more)

Report this review (#2235822) | Posted by tdfloyd | Saturday, July 6, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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