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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
3 stars Alan Parsons and company basically deliver on my expectations with I Robot: heavily produced and layered music, cool sounds and effects, and as a result a lack of emotion and rawness that is also sometimes needed. I Robot may be presented as somewhat of a concept album, but though the songs don't entirely fit together musically. I always appreciate diversity on an album, and there is tons here. The caveat is that you also are likely to find some material that doesn't work for you. The end result is an album that is defnitely worth owning, but APP certainly haven't hit a home run with this one.

I find the first half of the album to be very high quality--almost masterpiece status. The title track is about as progressive electronic as I am ready to endure (eventually that will change!), but it develops quickly enough that I don't lose focus. I Wouldn't Want to Be Like You is the radio hit, for good reason. I appreciate the vocalist cutting loose a bit, and the guitar and intro/close are all highlights. The quality continues with Some Other Time and Breakdown: both use dynamics, synths and guitar to tasteful effect. I especially enjoy the defiant chorus to end Breakdown. Given this material, the ballad Don't Let It Show fits nicely here--and it still has an upbeat ending to prog-ify it a bit.

Unfortunately the second half cannot keep up in quality. For me, The Voice (repetitive and pushing further into disco territory than I'm willing to go), Nucleus (uneventful ambient synthesizing) and Total Eclipse (ditto) are skippable. Fortunately, between the ambient tunes we have Day After Day, which is a lazy, Floydian piece. Good but not great.

Fortunately it all comes together for the finale: Genesis. This is one of my absolute favorite pieces of instrumental music. APP really throw the kitchen sink at the listener here, building and building to an absolutely MASSIVE conclusion. How they could have made an I Robot movie and not used this song is beyond me--I can literally picture a camera pan showing ever more threatening robots along with the musical swell to great effect. Maybe that's just me :)

In short, you will like at least some parts of this album--I guarantee it. Just don't expect to like all of it, and don't expect it to reveal more depth and ingenuity with each listen, and you'll be happy to have I Robot in your collection.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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