People know me as a \m/etal head who also dabbles in the punk genre. True enough. One of my favorites bands, however, is THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. I discovered them when I was in college and loved it when I first heard him. I’ve only seen him once in concert and it was exceptional, however, he hardly ever tours. The band was originally comprised of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. Together they produced 10 albums between 1976 and 1987. Between the two of them, they sold over 50 million albums. Woolfson passed away in 2009. This is the fifth solo album by ALAN PARSONS which is titled The Secret (out now, on the Frontiers Music).
“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” leads the album with a blend of easy guitar and magical keyboard, then sharply breaks into a quick, whimsical section, reminiscent of the 1930’s Silly Symphony cartoons by Walt Disney. The tune progresses, musically bringing back to life the Walt Disney movie Fantasia, whereby Mickey Mouse is the apprentice magician trying to control a magical broom. PARSONS reproduces the lighthearted mood of this timeless classic. Quite unexpected, but it falls right in line with what is to come.
According to ALAN PARSONS, “Miracle” started out as demo by his bass player Guy Erez and sat on the shelf for awhile. It was resurrected later on and later brilliantly sung by Grammy nominated Jason Mraz. It does have a similar feel to historic album Eye In The Sky. In third position is “As Lights Fall”, primarily written by guitarist Dan Tracey. The song tastefully sung by Parsons, describes the life of a magician at the end of his career. So very heartfelt and intricate.
Known as the “Schumann resonance”, 7.83 is said to be the frequency of Earth’s magnetic field. “One Note Symphony”, is sung in one monotone note throughout the recording, and I would assume to represent the one Earthly frequency. Through lyrics and melody, PARSONS attempts to describe Earth’s frequency as a healing modulation radiating throughout the Milky Way; a constant, healing instrument that brings singularity. Quite a remarkable concept from a simple idea. Featuring Lou Gramm (FOREIGNER), “Sometimes” may be one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long, long time. Gramm sent chills up my back with his powerful and so well known delivery. I couldn’t think of a better vocalist to bring this one home. So, so good.
“Soiree Fantastique”, “Fly to Me” and “Requiem” bring out the more magical, romantic and personal side of things. PARSONS relates relationships to show magic: disappearing, reappearing, illusions and discoveries. “Years of Glory” relives the days of past, the mystery and wonder of how life turned out the way it has. “The Limelight Fades Away” starts us on the egress of the album and toward the end of a career. Perhaps the magician (musician?) sees the attention and acclaim slowly slip away toward that final end of the show. A fitting way to end the record, “I Can’t Get There From Here” reminds us to live life to its fullest. We should not get to the end, look back and regret that we didn’t do something we wish we would have.
Although the album is quite romantic, even in comparison to other PARSONS albums, it is tastefully done, with excellent recording and production, spellbinding vocalists, enchanting lyrics, with a smooth yet somber overtone. PARSONS seemingly compares life of a musician to that of a magician. Starting out as a neophyte, we learn lessons along the way, improve on our performance, eventually become good at what we do and then wind down to reflect on the seemingly short time that has just flown by. A hint of sadness overshadows the overall landscape, but indeed a masterful effort. Salude’
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Miracle”, “As Light Falls”, “One Note Symphony”, “Sometimes” “I Can’t Get There From Here”
-MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH