Alan Parsons

Eye 2 Eye: Live In Madrid

Written by: PP on 27/03/2010 14:39:30

Before we start this review, it's probably a good idea to introduce those readers to Alan Parsons who aren't familiar with his name from before. He's one of the studio wizards who worked on such timeless releases as "Abbey Road" and "The Dark Side Of The Moon" way back in the 60s and 70s, among many other classics, and even had his own project called The Alan Parsons Project. They enjoyed moderate sales success as well, but disbanded in 1990, and since then Parsons has put out a few solo records here and there, but what's most impressive about this guy is the 12 or so Grammy's he's won for engineering and production. Anyway, back in 2004, he played a solo show in Madrid, Spain, which was recorded for a CD+DVD release called "Eye 2 Eye: Live In Madrid". This review will only focus on the CD part.

The music of Alan Parsons is, predictably, heavily influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd, Beatles and perhaps even Queen in places. We're talking original progressive rock with lots subtle of psychedelic ambiance, sublime vocals and the lot. While a live CD is never a great introduction to an artist, at least we get a nice cross cut of songs both from Parsons' solo albums as well as a few classics from back in the day; most notably "Sirius" and "Eye In The Sky". So you get an idea of what he sounds like and who his influences are. Take "Don't Answer Me", for instance, which sounds exactly like a John Lennon song. Anyway, you can hear the crowd cheering on the background in the right places, and Parsons' vocals have been recorded to near perfection, but the problem is that the rest of the instruments aren't. Especially the drums are all too faded away on the background, and it's sometimes hard to hear the synth effects or the guitars in the quieter moments of the record. So when you have seven and a half minute songs like "Psychobabble", which rely strongly on original progressive constructs, it's hard to get much out of it when large parts of the detailed soundscape is lost in the production. Such is the fate of many live albums, however, so Parsons fans will probably get something out of this, especially if they focus on the DVD part of the release. For the CD audio, the experience isn't as full and rich as one would hope, alas, an average grade.


Download: Don't Answer Me, Time
For the fans of: Pink Floyd, John Lennon, Queen,
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.03.2010
Frontiers Records

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