Alan Parsons Project: Gaudi (remaster)
The remastered series of Alan Parsons Project albums is closed out by what proved to be their swansong release, Gaudi from 1987. When you consider some of the subjects tackled on their previous concepts it is hardly surprising that one inspired by a Spanish architect failed to generate much enthusiasm with the record buying public of the day and it struggled to a disappointing # 57 on Billboard. What is also evident is that after little more than a decade the Project had run its course and both Parsons and Woolfson were in need of an extended break and for both to have the opportunity to work with other people.
The lengthy and heavily orchestrated "La Sagreda Familia" kicks off the album in dramatic style with John Miles handling vocals and this proves to be the strongest moment as much of the rest is 80's synth pop rock with little charm. "Inside Looking Out", "Money Talks" and the obligatory Woolfson ballad "Closer to Heaven" sound lazy and uninspired and it is left to the deft touches that grace flamenco tinged instrumental "Paseo de Gracia" to inject any real life into a largely dull collection. Listening to the series of Project remasters over the past few weeks has acted as a timely reminder of some of the great music they created over the years and just how much of it there was, even if Gaudi only has one or two moments of magic it is still worth having for the extra tracks and to complete the package. Ten albums in eleven years is remarkably prolific, even more so for a band tagged with the "prog" label where two or three years between releases would often be the norm. If you've got vinyl copies of these albums gathering dust somewhere or if you're new to the Project and want to find out what they were about then now is the time to fill those gaps in your collection and dive right in.
"La Sagreda Familia"
"Closer to Heaven"
"Standing on Higher Ground"
"Inside Looking Out"
"Paseo de Gracia"
"Too Late" (Eric Woolfson rough guide vocal)
"Standing on Higher Ground/Losing Proposition" (vocal experiments)
"Money Talks" (Chris Rainbow/percussion overdubs)
"Money Talks" (rough mix backing track)
"Closer to Heaven" (sax/Chris Rainbow overdub section)
"Paseo de Gracia" (rough mix)
"La Sagrada Familia" (rough mix)
Added: March 22nd 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
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