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The Alan Parsons Project - I Robot CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

3.79 | 509 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I Robot is the second opus by Parson's grandly named "Project", and is, of course, based upon the series of novels written by Sci-Fi great, Isaac Asimov. Actually, as an aside, it would have been interesting to have seen this updated alongside the later fusion by Asimov of these with his Foundation series. I digress, however.

This album, perhaps more than a lot of others, divides opinions amongst prog heads, mainly owing to two factors. Firstly, it was extremely successful commercially (never a good thing in more than a few minds), and it contains more than a splash of the prevalent commercial pop phase of the time, namely disco beats. Gasp!

If you can get past these things, and broad minded people reading this review are more than capable of doing so, then a treat is in store.

Not only do we have an extremely well produced work (not for nothing did Parsons twirl the Floyd knobs), but we have a marvellous fusion of the grandiose, such as on Some Other Time, electronica fused with cool beats, such as on the opening title track, pure electronic prog with Nucleus, and the wonderful, beautiful ballads which were, to me anyway, the hallmark of this entire Project over the years, and there is no better example anywhere than Day After Day, which has at its heart the most delicious Jack Harris vocal. In addition, you also have a couple of power pop rock tracks, Breakdown being perhaps the best, and it was this, of course, which gave such albums a wide commercial appeal. However, in such a mix are some decidedly sharply observed and executed dark passages, well in keeping with the subject matter.

There is a wonderful range of guest artists, and Parsons and Woolfson made this particular facet of the "experiment" last very successfully. Of particular note are Dave Townsend's gorgeous vocals on Don't Let It Show, a dreamy ballad, and the absolute highlight of a wonderful album, the dark, foreboding, The Voice, which simply would not have worked as well without the ridiculously talented Steve Harley at the vocal helm.

I am in the process of revisiting the collection of APP albums I own, and this is a good starting point, as it would be for anyone who wishes to explore this eclectic group of albums from a fresh perspective.

This is progressive rock music strongly tinged with knowing commercial nous, and is quite superb from start to finish. Four stars for this.

lazland | 4/5 |


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