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The Alan Parsons Project - Stereotomy CD (album) cover


The Alan Parsons Project


Crossover Prog

2.74 | 191 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars A return to form after some weak albums!

After the weak duo of (the decent) Ammonia Avenue and (the awful) Vulture Culture, the Alan Parsons Project returned to form with the present album. There was a well defined formula for the Alan Parsons Project that they rarely detracted from. You could even argue that, if you know one of their albums you know them all. This is not quite true, however. Stereotomy is in some ways an exception, but in some other ways it is a typical Alan Parsons Project album.

The formula which is often followed involves several invited guest vocalists on different tracks; the instrumentation is electronic keyboards (never flashy), electric guitars (usually not too flashy, but they sound better here than on most other Project albums), drums (rather simple and sometimes even programmed) and sometimes some sax. Stereotomy is no exception here. But it works better here than on many previous albums.

Another typical aspect of Alan Parsons Project albums are that they are very well produced. Indeed, Parsons is mainly a producer. Stereotomy is no exception to this rule either. This album is a bit more consistent than some other Project albums, this means also that there are not really any stand-out tracks here like the excellent La Sagrada Familia from Gaudi, for example.

There are three instrumentals on this album, which is unusual. They will not blow you away, but they range from decent to very good. The drums and programmed keyboards on Where Is The Walrus? are way too repetitive and patterned for my tastes, it gives a very stale, cold and robotic feeling (quite typical of the Project). This track is also way too long for its own good. The best instrumental is the short Chinese Whispers that features great acoustic guitar. This track leads directly into the short reprise of the title track. This is easily the strongest part of the whole album.

The worst part of the album is probably In The Real World, that reminds me very much of the band Magnum (and the worst type of Magnum song!). This is even more 80's sounding than the rest of the album! If you can't stand typical 80's sound and production you should avoid this album like the plague.

This is not the best Alan Parsons Project album, but it is certainly not the worst either. It is not as good as Gaudi, but I like it more than many other Project albums actually.

Good, but non-essential.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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