Tuesday, June 1, 1982

Alan Parsons Project - Eye in the Sky

The Alan Parsons Project
Eye in the Sky
Compact Disc
Arista/Legacy 82878 81527 2

1. Sirius
2. Eye in the Sky
3. Children of the Moon
4. Gemini
5. Silence and I
6. You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned
7. Psychobabble
8. Mammagamma
9. Step By Step
10. Old and Wise
11. Sirius (demo)
12. Old and Wise (Eric Woolfson vocal)
13. Any Other Day (studio demo)
14. Silence and I (Eric Woolfson vocal)
15. The Naked Eye
16. Eye Pieces (classical Naked Eye)

It seems to me that the Alan Parsons Project gets kind of a bad rap. I don't know why; they have some mighty fine music in their catalog. Perhaps my own musical sensibilities are just more pop-oriented than those of most of you that I see on the forums and blogs, and so the sort of borderline pop/prog that the APP plays just appeals to me more than others. This music is different; it's accessible without being too poppy; it features orchestration without being, well, boring; it's original and progressive without being too self-indulgent; and, while I say it isn't too poppy, it nonetheless features nice hooks that I, for one, can easily dig. And the sounds they make are just........cool.
On this album, of course, you got the Chicago Bulls opening music in "Sirius," followed by the pleasant radio hit and title track. "Children of the Moon" has that wee bit of synthesizer that gives it ...um...a different feel, a bit of a trip in time, nothing bad at all, in my opinion. Interesting choral bits and chord changes in that one. "Gemini" is nice and dreamy, just like me.... *ahem* The relatively extended (7:20) "Silence and I" is a couple of hushed ends bookending a classical/orchestral bridge, which is cool and makes itself known. "You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned" is a good, strong bit of pop/rock; some might think that the APP couldn't pull off a "straight" pop/rock sound, but I think it works here.
I think "Psychobabble" might be somewhat well-known among some; I remember it was once incorporated into my old high school's marching band's repertoire. Good, kind of weird vibe to that song. Nice. The instrumental bit that follows, "Mammagamma," I can probably do without; it's rather ground in the pseudo-disco sounds of that era (1982), not to mention unexciting. "Step by Step" is another more poppy song; I played this one a couple times before saying "Yeah, it's okay." And the capper, "Old and Wise"...well, the title sums it up, I think, as the album ends on a quiet note.

Friday, January 1, 1982

John Mellencamp - American Fool

John Mellencamp ("John Cougar")
American Fool
Compact Disc
Riva 814-993-2 M-1

1. Hurts So Good
2. Jack & Diane
3. Hand to Hold on To
4. Danger List
5. Can You Take It
6. Thundering Hearts
7. China Girl
8. Close Enough
9. Weakest Moments

Curiously felt like digging this out recently. This album seems to kind of run out of creative juice after a while, but there's good hard rock on this album, from the hits "Hurts So Good" and "Jack & Diane" to the lesser-known "Thundering Hearts," which is best played in the Camaro on a warm summer day with the top down, cruising around. (Especially with those lyrics.)