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Alan Parsons - The Time Machine CD (album) cover


Alan Parsons


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2.46 | 72 ratings

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1 stars Used to be back in his early Project career Alan Parsons would take a concept and develop an entire album around it. Each track would either elaborate an element of that concept or simply embellish the aura of the album as whole. Well, he doesn’t really do that anymore, and hasn’t actually since probably Gaudi which was over twenty years ago.

On ‘The Time Machine’ he tries, sort of. At least there is a vague connection to all the songs and the combination of spoken words and ambient synthetic music gives the easily led an impression of a cohesive theme. And who knows, maybe Parsons convinced himself this was the case as well.

But I’m not buying it. For someone who’s never heard Alan Parsons before, and probably also grew up less than thirty years ago, this album might actually come across as some sort of faux sophisticated contemporary body of work. But for those who know what Parsons is (or at least was) capable of in the studio – this is coasting… mailing it in… punching a ticket… taking the easy road… sailing closed waters… you get the idea.

The guest list is quite impressive, featuring both old Project alumni like Ian Bairnson and Chris Rainbow, as well as some new faces like the lovely and talented Beverley Craven who provides a breathy lead vocal on the glossy adult contemporary tune “The Very Last Time”.

But that’s the problem of course; like much of Parsons work post-Project, the production and synthetic instrumentation has overwhelmed the creativity of the man. There’s not a hair or note out of place anywhere on the album, a tribute to the impeccable studio skill of Mr. Parsons. But there’s very little soul or energy either, and we’re left with a middle-aged and highly synthesized parallel to a Rod Stewart or Barbra Streisand album circa around the same time period.

Sure, Parsons has been working his way this direction since ‘Eye in the Sky’, but here the transition to Las Vegas marquee act is complete. If you are into this kind of music it’s unlikely you are also a serious progressive music fan. More likely you’re middle-aged, metrosexual, and use a blow dryer when you shower at the gym. Good for you, but not good for long-time fans of Alan Parsons. In fact as near as I can tell he only even appears in front of the mixing board on a couple of songs – the bland soft rock tune “No Future in the Past” and the directionless spoken-word “Temporalia”. Otherwise this is more like a ‘Friends & Family’ collection, or a Various Artists compilation.

Bah, I’m not going to spend any more time on this. If you are the sort of person who thinks of ambient music as ‘classy’ this may appeal to you; otherwise this record is only for the most ardent Alan Parsons completionists. A high one star for ‘The Time Machine’ – almost two stars but doesn’t quite get there. Not recommended.


ClemofNazareth | 1/5 |


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