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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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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "I shall call my plan The Alan Parsons Project"

With Eric Wolfson having long since moved on, "The Time Machine" is once again billed as simply being by Alan Parsons (the "Project" was dropped when Woolfson left).

With the third of the "Austin Powers" films having made reference to the "Alan Parsons Project", the favour is returned on some versions through the inclusion of an "Dr. Evil Edit" remix of the title track `as a hidden bonus track.

As a whole, the album does not stray far from what we have come to expect from Parsons although the first hints of the subtle direction change of "A valid path" are noticeable. Parsons as usual takes a back seat performance wise, but several of the usual suspects are once again present including Ian Bairnson, Colin Blunstone, and Chris Rainbow. This time however Rainbow does not take the lead vocal on any of the tracks.

In addition, there are some fine guest performances by other artists. "Out of the blue" features the rich voice of Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) instantly making it one of the album's highlights. Maire Brennan of Clannad sings on "The call of the wild", which has strong similarities to Simple Minds' "Belfast child", both tracks using the traditional air "She moved through the fair" as their main theme. "The very last time" sees the criminally underrated Beverley Craven offering one of her most delightful performances, accompanied only by piano and occasional male vocal.

These tracks aside, only the ballad "Ignorance is bliss" with the distinctive voice of Colin Blunstone and some fine sax and guitar rises above the mediocrity of some pretty uninspired compositions. "Call up" is the undoubted low point of the album, sounding like a reject from a Rick Davies era Supertramp album. A number of instrumentals are inevitably included, but these have an over familiar feel, with strong echoes similar tracks on previous APP albums. The version I have is the Japanese release (don't ask!), which has an extra track called "Beginnings".

In all, something on an uneven album which perhaps indicates the absence of Wolfson to be most noticeable in the quality control department. The performances by the guest vocalists are exemplary, and fortunately the songs they have been allocated are well written, complementing their talents well. The poorer tracks and padding serve only to detract from the finished product.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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