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Alan Parsons Band - A Valid Path CD (album) cover


Alan Parsons Band


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2.59 | 92 ratings

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1 stars I’m not even sure exactly why I bought this album. As a completer piece more than anything I suppose. In reality Alan Parsons ceased to be anything resembling even a pseudo-prog artist after ‘I Robot’ (if not before), and really quit putting out even decent pop music by 1982. The whole Alan Parsons ‘Band’ thing sans Eric Woolfson isn’t even a half-hearted attempt at anything artistic; those albums generally fall into either a nostalgia bucket, or are blatant club-mix affairs. This one falls into the latter category despite a couple attempts to play the nostalgia card with “Mammagamma ‘04” and “A Recurring Dream within A Dream”, the latter being a dance-mix version of the original “The Raven” off the Project’s “Tales of Mystery & Imagination” debut some thirty years ago.

This thing is just embarrassing. If Parsons isn’t ashamed for himself, then I will be that for him. I didn’t think this guy would ever bother to put anything out again after the painful-to-stomach ‘Gaudi’, but of course he was far from done and managed to even attach his name to ‘Freudiana’ before alienating Woolfson and wandering off to schlep more albums under this ‘Band’ moniker.

The whole album is all techno-electronica tripe with endless programmed digital sequences, sequenced drum machines, and other computer wizardry. Sure, Parsons has always been known for mixing digimusic with the real thing, but the totality of the immersion in artificial sounds on this album is shocking to old fans (or to me at least).

Beyond the two blasphemies of early Project classics are several other tracks that would not be at all out of place on a DJ sampler’s platter in a nineties meat-factory dance club: “L'Arc En Ciel”, “You Can Run”, and especially “Chomolungma”. All three of these sound like they were recorded in 1992, not 2004, and were intended for an audience that is about as diametrically opposed to progressive rock as you could imagine.

On “More Lost Without You” it sounds as if even the vocals have been digitized and stretched across a mixing board to make them sound closer to a rapping robot than an actual artist.

And finally, I usually reserve comparisons to one of my favorite bad-music whipping boys (Icehouse) for only the most deplorable music. Imagine my surprise when I first heard “We Play the Game” and realized that Alan Parsons himself was singing and actually pulling off a better imitation of Icehouse then that band could probably even manage themselves! Not possible you’d think – but you’d be wrong. A dead-on- clone of Icehouse’s first two albums. Or for an even more obscure comparison, try finding the debut album by a band named Alda Reserve and tell me if this doesn’t come off as just as techno-poppy as those guys. Fortunately both of those bands quit making this kind of tripe over twenty years ago. Unfortunately that’s about when Parsons quit trying to make good music and started pushing the same kind of stuff out.

This is not a good album. If the last eight or ten Parsons albums hadn’t convinced you he is done as a legitimate artist, this one surely will. Don’t bother. One star.


ClemofNazareth | 1/5 |


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