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The Alan Parsons Project - Stereotomy CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

2.76 | 220 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars After the commercial gold of both 'Eye In The Sky' and 'Ammonia Avenue' - two excellent albums that nevertheless eschewed progressive pomp in favour of slick pop-rock - 'Stereotomy', an album based on the rather obscure concept of the public expectations of famous individuals - sought to continue the musical trend albeit now with two feet entrenched firmly in the 1980s. Whereas both predecessors retained a sense of the previous decade both in their instrumental construction and musical execution, 'Stereotomy' is all snazzy synthesizers, gated reverb drums and big choruses, the core creative duo of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson cooking up a slick rock sound that may sound rather dated to 21st century ears. However, that's not to say 'Stereotomy' is not worth the admission price for those Alan Parsons Project fans who are searching for more after exhausting the group's early progressive rock recordings. Eric Woolfson's ability to concoct achingly catchy pop hooks and emotive balladry has always been the outfits strongest point, and even in these critically- panned latter releases his ear for such things remains resolutely in check. The album opens promisingly, with the powerful seven-minute title-track - one of Woolfson's rockiest numbers - morphing into the cool electronic balladry of 'Beaujolais', showcasing not only Woolfson's deft songwriting touch but also Parson's assured technical wizardry which lends both track and album the highly-polished production sheen that made his name back in the early-seventies(Parsons engineered both The Beatles 'Abbey Road' Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' whilst at Abbey Road studios). Sadly, however, the rest of 'Stereotomy' fails to live up to its excellent beginning, the remaining tracks providing an undistinguished trail through mediocre pop territory that lacks the inventive streaks of the duo's better pieces. As a result, 'Stereotomy' proved not only a critical failure, but also a commercial one - the first of The Alan Parsons Project's career - and began a downward spiral continued on the lacklustre 'Vulture Culture'(1985) and final release 'Gaudi'(1987). Recommended for die-hard project lovers only then, but in the opening gambit you really do have one of the group's finest individual pieces.
stefro | 2/5 |


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