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The Alan Parsons Project - The Turn Of A Friendly Card CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

3.52 | 424 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The fifth project album finds the core duo of producer Alan Parsons and writer/vocalist Eric Wolfson conjuring up yet another ambitious concept album, the glamorous nature of gambling and the highs and lows that accompany this most unpredictable of pursuits the subject matter this time round. Made in 1980, the formula that had worked so well on the likes of 'Tales Of Mystery & Imagination', 'I Robot' and 'Pyramid'(we'll just forget about 'Eve') is, for the most, employed again, though by now the cute pop edges that adorned the technically-proficient progressive rock of earlier efforts becomes the real meat making up the music, with more emphasis on catchy melodies, far less instrumental noodling, and much more reliance on the carefully-wrought ballads the group would eventually become famous for. That's not to say that 'Turn Of A Friendly Card' is a lesser album as result; far from it. Backed once again by most of the formerly produced-by-Parsons Scottish rock group Pilot, this is another helping of slickly- produced pop-prog complete with top-tapping rhythms and expert production values, the album sounding as good as anything conjured up by any of the era's big-budget big-beasts thanks to the collective craftsmanship brought to the table by Parsons, Wolfson and their cohort of bit- part players. Highlights include the wonderfully-timed electric boogie of the Wolfson-penned chart hit 'Games People Play', the jangly guitar pop nugget 'I Don't Wanna Go Home' and the atmospheric slow-burner 'The Gold Bug' - all tracks with a strong commercial flavour - though sadly the five-part title-track that closes the album never really catches fire, lacking the simple- but-effective join-the-dots pop-style that gives the rest of the album it's drive. Despite the outfits art-rock credentials, however, hardcore progressive rock fans may find it all a bit soft and simple, yet there is no denying the quality of the actual craftsmanship on show. Although not as immediate or consistent as the hugely-popular follow-up piece 'Eye In The Sky', 'Turn Of A Friendly Card' is a great example of the projects clever fusing of disparate musical elements within a broad and appealing commercial spectrum. Those with fairly undemanding ears or a penchant for the poppier side of things should feel right at home. Formulaic then, but fun all the same. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 3/5 |


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