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Alan Parsons - On Air CD (album) cover


Alan Parsons


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3.10 | 86 ratings

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3 stars This album is, as the name suggests, an album dedicated to the skies and learning how to master the art of flying. The songs vary from greek mythology (the tale of Ikaros shines through in "Too Close to the Sun"), space flight (the electronic instrumental "Apollo" and the song "So Far Away"), Leonardo da Vinci's ideas ("One Day to Fly"), including the dream of flying (also "Blue Blue Sky") and the fear of flying ("I Can't Look Down"). It is also an "airy" album, light and a bit soaring. The sound is rather turned up in the treble section but Parsons manages to even out with a nice, clear bass.

Many of the songs are soft pop/rock ballads; "Blown by the Wind", "So Far Away" and "One Day to Fly" especially, with a wonderful touch of a symphonic orchestra, lifting the musical experience. The instrumental track "Apollo" is somewhat out of place on this album (although the theme is right on spot), with it's programmed drum rolls and electronic synth sounds. A part of the speech made by John F Kennedy (a person who Alan looks up to) on the Apollo project is also sampled on this track. It somewhat reveals where Alan plans to go on his later albums, especially "A Valid Path" (2004). Among the songs is also an incredibly touching and sad song, "Brother up in Heaven", as a way to say goodbye to someone near, but also to look upon a new life. It reminds you somewhat of the feel in the classic Alan Parsons Project "Don't Let it Show" from "I, Robot" (1977), only with a new, more fresh sound.

For those of you who have heard the songs and albums of the Project, these new albums (listed here as "the Alan Parsons Band") are somewhat different but not at all bad. They have a different sound and attitude, but among them I think that this one (On Air) is the one that resembles the Project albums the most. That doesn't mean that you're buying another Project album if you buy this, but you buy something new and different.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of nice soft rock, but I wouldn't call it "essential to your prog rock collection".

Included with the album is also a PC CD-ROM disc, somewhat hard to navigate (you have to click moving hot air balloons, getting you different places depending on what you press) but interesting if you want to learn more about the members of the band. It contains much information both on flight and on Alan Parsons' history, and also contains a quiz among other things.

| 3/5 |


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