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Alan Parsons Project: Stereotomy (remaster)

1985 saw two releases by The Alan Parsons Project, firstly Vulture Culture which received a generally lukewarm reception and, towards the end of the year along came Stereotomy. By now the band were on a commercial decline that had begun with Ammonia Avenue and Stereotomy would climb no higher than # 43 on Billboard. Whilst the title is taken from the writings of Edgar Allen Poe the overall concept is less apparent and makes reference to the demands of fame and stardom on figures who spend their life in the public eye.

There were far fewer lead vocals this time around for Eric Woolfson who's voice, together with that of John Miles, can only be heard on the title track which provides an upbeat start. There are a myriad of keyboard sounds throughout that are typical of the mid-80's and these are best heard on two of the albums instrumental cuts, "Urbania" and "Where's The Walrus". Both prove to be effective mood pieces and the latter in particular makes a strong case for being the best instrumental piece the Project had issued since the days of I, Robot. "Limelight" gives Procul Harem's Gary Brooker an opportunity to remind us what a great voice he possesses and is both mellow, evocative and sincere. "In The Real World", on the other hand, has dated less well and has the trademark 80's drum sound and production that two decades later does little to impress. The short but sweet "Chinese Whispers" and a refrain of the title track offer a poignant close. There are just four bonus tracks this time around but all offer an insight into the creative process and this whole series of remasters from the Project are simply top drawer as regards quality and attention to detail.

A more enjoyable experience than its two predecessors, Stereotomy sounds at times as if the Project were genuinely reinvigorated and still had a bright future ahead of them.


Track Listing
"Stereotomy"
"Beaujolais"
"Urbania"
"Limelight"
"In The Real World"
"Where's The Walrus?"
"Light Of The World"
"Chinese Whispers"
"Stereotomy Two"
Bonus tracks
"Light Of The World" (backing track)
"Rumour Goin' Round" (demo)
"Stereotomy" (Eric Woolfson guide vocal)
"Stereotomy" (backing rough mix)

Added: March 19th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1214
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Alan Parsons Project: Stereotomy (remaster)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-03-19 10:44:13
My Score:

Stereotomy, the 1985 release from the Alan Parsons Project, still holds up pretty well some 24 years after its release, perhaps better than Eve, Ammonia Avenue, Vulture Culture, and Gaudi, some of the other APP releases that came before and after it. Featuring three very strong instrumentals in "Urbania", "Chinese Whispers", and "Where's the Walrus", as well as other winners like the title cut, "Beaujolais", hard rocker "In the Real World", and the dreamy pop of "Light of the World", Stereotomy offers a lot of quality APP material. It also represents Eric Woolfson's return to Edgar Allan Poe inspired themes, last visited with their debut Tales of Mystery and Imagination. There's also plenty of synthesizers throughout these songs, a return to more futuristic and progressive sounds, something that was missing on the stripped down Ammonia Avenue. Vocals are handled by the usual crew of John Miles, Woolfson, Chris Rainbow, plus contributions from Graham Dye and Procol Harum's Gary Brooker on "Limelight". Plenty of lush textures abound throughout created by keyboards, guitars, and orchestra, so expect a full, rich sound.

The remastering job here is excellent, as the CD really has a bright sound to it, and look for a host of bonus demo, backing, and rough mix tracks, plus plenty of info on the creation of the album and who played on what track in the booklet.



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