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

I ROBOT

The Alan Parsons Project

 

Crossover Prog

3.79 | 509 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars ALAN PARSONS PROJECT is one of those bands that is mentioned as a guilty pleasure in most Progressive Rock forums, and the explanation is simple, many progheads don't forgive success, and "Eye in the Sky" was a successful album that combined good Pop music with amazing Prog arrangements and a wonderful production.

But people forget that ALAN PARSONS PROJECT started their career as a Prog band with three solid albums, being "I Robot" not only one of them, but in my opinion the one that combined more elements of different sub-genres with great skills and the first one in which the band really discovered a unique sound after a fantastic but hard to listen debut.

"I Robot" begins with the title track, a song that mixes elements of Electronic and Symphonic Prog incredibly well, the peculiar use of keyboards would be the trademark of the band, but the strength of "I Robot" rests in the capacity of Andrew Powell to combine Orchestra and elaborate chorus to add a touch of drama. If I had to describe the song with one word OI would choose "delightful".

"I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You" is a short track that always sounded a bit out of place on this album, not because lack of quality, because the whole band with Lenny Zakatek in the vocals sounds great, but the structure is simpler, more suitable for later works like "Eye in the Sky" or "Vulture Culture", but still an excellent song.

"Some other time" starts with a heartbreaking piano and synthesised flute and the dual vocals by Jaki Whitren and Peter Straker enhance the effect. Again the star of the song is Andrew Powell with his outstanding arrangements for Orchestra (specially the characteristic and pompous winds), another excellent song.

"Breakdown" is an odd rack that combines both sides of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT; the poppy and well produced sound with the orchestral and Progressive elements,as usual the choice of vocalist is more than adequate, being that Allan Clarke with his acute range makes the perfect contrast with the sober and formal choirs, another delightful song.

After the previous pomp, it was necessary to light a bit the atmosphere and that's what Alan Parsons achieves with the dramatic ballad "Don't Let it End", in which Dave Townsend's voice supported by a church organ make the perfect contrast between the sacred and earthly, and after this long intro, the song develops delicately in a combination of light and elaborate sections that fit one after the other with perfect synchronicity .

"The Voice" is the weaker track in the album the monotonous bass line and annoying voice of Steve Harley are so weak that not even the addition of sound effects and vocoder can help, and what is worst, the instrumental break sounds so Disco oriented that reminds me of VAN MC'COY..............Well, the album was released in 1977 when Disco was king. Weak choice.

"Nucleus" is a weird combination between experimental sounds and light Jazz, which I enjoy very much and works as an interlude before the effective "Day After Day (The Show Must Go On)", a melancholic ballad with wonderful instrumentation and production, a delicate piece of art.

Before we reach the end is the turn for choral "Total Eclipse, where Alan Parsons allows Andrew Powell to display his obsession for the dark and haunting style so vastly used in the dark debut "Tales of Mystery and Imagination", simply scary and ideal to prepare people for the final song.

"Genesis Ch.1 V.32" closes the album with the strongest track of all the album, Mister Parsons hits us with everything he has, don't ask me if the song is mainly electronic or Symphonic, because I can't say....But who cares? Is' one of the best expressions of the band with Andrew Powell adding his orchestra and chorus as only he can do, outstanding.

Not a perfect masterpiece, because of one or two weaker tracks, but I would not be honest if I gave this album less than 4 stars.

A great addition for any musical collection.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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