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Parsons, Alan: The Secret

Legendary music producer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Alan Parsons led his best selling Alan Parson Project for many years during the time frame of 1976-1990, but since their split with the album Freudiana, Parsons has mostly recorded as a solo artist, his last album being A Valid Path in 2004, but he now finds himself on the popular Frontiers Records label for his latest release The Secret.

With this latest effort, Parsons finds himself in some good company, including APP collaborator Ian Bairnson (guitar), Steve Hackett, Jeff Kollmann, Andy Ellis, Nathan East, Vinnie Colaiuta, and many other musicians contributing guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, sax, and strings. Kickoff instrumental "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is a rousing romp through prog-rock & film score styled waters, with tasty lead guitar from ex-Genesis axe-man Hackett and loads of symphonic keys, while the remaining tracks are all vocal oriented and feature a myriad of guest stars. Mark Mikel adds a Beatles-esque flair to the engaging "Fly To Me", Jason Mraz offers up a stunning delivery on the addicting pop of "Miracle", and a still strong Lou Gramm (ex-Foreigner/Black Sheep) shows up on the emotional "Sometimes". Todd Cooper pulls in an MVP performance with multiple vocal slots, his soaring, somewhat jazzy pipes on "Requiem", "One Note Symphony", and "Soiree Fantastique" making for some of the albums additional highlights. For my money though, and pure nostalgic reasons, it's always great to hear leader Parsons on lead vocals, and he gets to shine all on his own on "As Lights Fall", a real throwback tune which will leave longtime fans remembering the APP's great early '80s catalog. Another memorable pop rocker here is "The Limelight Fades Away", featuring some tasty guitar, keys, and a potent vocal from Jordan Huffman.

Overall, The Secret is a pleasant, and at times, delightful album, though some fans might have wanted a little more of what the opening instrumental track brought. This is by no means a 'prog' album, but a very nice pop album with plenty of sheen and sweeping orchestrations, strong vocals and memorable melodies. I,Robot and Tales of Mystery and Imagination it certainly isn't, but in the end, it doesn't really need to be.

Track Listing
2. MIRACLE (lead vocal: Jason Mraz)
3. AS LIGHTS FALL (lead vocal: Alan Parsons)
4. ONE NOTE SYMPHONY (lead vocal: Todd Cooper)
5. SOMETIMES (lead vocal: Lou Gramm)
6. SOIRÉE FANTASTIQUE (lead vocal: Todd Cooper, Alan Parsons)
7. FLY TO ME (lead vocal: Mark Mikel)
8. REQUIEM (lead vocal: Todd Cooper)
9. BEYOND THE YEARS OF GLORY (lead vocal: PJ Olsson)§
10. THE LIMELIGHT FADES AWAY (lead vocal: Jordan Huffman)
11. I CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE (lead vocal: Jared Mahone)§ featured in Motion Picture “5-25-77”

Added: May 1st 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 1179
Language: english

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