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The Alan Parsons Project - Pyramid CD (album) cover

PYRAMID

The Alan Parsons Project

 

Crossover Prog

3.41 | 380 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the most prominent highlights in The Alan Parsons Project's career, 'Pyramid' establishes a fusion of 'Tales' and 'I Robot': APP's idea is not cloning themselves for the sake of it, but mainly reaffirming their own signature sound, by managing to write and produce a repertoire that flows solidly from beginning to end, although there's not a continuous link between all nine tracks. 'Voyager' kicks off the album as a reflective starter, leading to 'What Goes Up...' (a meditation on the futility of all earthly things), then leading to 'The Eagle Will Rise Again' (a final melancholy thought upon determination for resurgence): the threesome are really very well integrated, thus stating the duality of ups and downs as the central point of 'Pyramid'. Next, 'One More River' reincides on the strength of determination in a pop-rock context, only to be segued into 'Can't Take It With You', which reminds us that by our time of dying, we shall leave all the things we struggled for behind us - the opening whistling feels quite creepy, actually. 'In the Lap of the Gods' is the most splendorous number in the album, a dazzling manifestation of symph prog where the orchestra, choir, and rock band interact with full majesty. Its abrupt end is followed a couple of seconds later by the bang of a gong, which is where the funny 'Pyramania' starts (something like APP's version of Supertramp's 'Dreamer'): its folly ambience is accurate for the lyrics, which mock at the new age pseudo-mystical stuff. 'Hyper-Gamma-Spaces' shows APP drawing closer to the electronic ambiences of J-M Jarre and Kraftwerk, while getting "rockier" than the former and not as "robotic" as the latter. This lush electronic exercise seems to be a celebration of the cosmic powers of creation and regeneration, but before things get too exulting, here comes 'Shadow of a Lonely Man'. This overwhelming symphonic ballad is nothing but a self-pitying, dramatic portrait of riches to rags, which serves as a reminder of the fact that all men and all things, no matter how grandiose, share a common fate of death and oblivion. All things must pass, and 'Pyramid' states it beautifully: a very recommended listen, and of course, a very recommended entry in any good prog collection.

Cesar Inca | 3/5 |

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