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Lush and Multi-Textured - A Compulsory Toe-Tapper
on July 17, 2000
Producer/songwriter/musician Alan Parsons had a smart idea; that is, write and produce albums without a band. There is no Alan Parsons' Band proper, just a rotating group of musicians. Several are steady performers throughout Parsons' ten album Project. Eye In The Sky makes heavy use of an orchestra, choir and the "sounds like everything and anything" fairlight - hence the album is often tagged "art' and "progressive." Overall, Eye In The Sky is rhythm-driven light rock. Whether provided by the bass guitar (Eye In The Sky), rhythm guitar (You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned) or drums; most compositions are compulsory toe-tappers. "Psychobabble" is a bass guitar lover's dream - David Paton's work is brilliant and arousing.
Parsons' approach is highly structured, prim and proper; and his compositions often come-off as "calculated" rather than "loose." "Loose" is not in Alan Parsons' dictionary. With its fairlight programmed rhythm, the instrumental `Mammagamma' touches on disco. The fiery rocker `You're Gonna Get Your Fingers Burned' is a welcome change of pace to the band's normally reserved playing. The most tantalizing composition is the sentimental ballad `Old And Wise.' Zombie Colin Blunstone provides lead vocals. His smoky and hushed voice is one of the most provocative in popular music. Like all of The Eye In The Sky, `Old And Wise' is lush and multi-textured.
Technical Note: Eye In The Sky is one of the fist digital recordings (using the Sony PCM 1610 System). I suspect that the mix is analog; therefore, the result is also analog. Arista could have sought the first-generation recordings and produced a true DDD disc. Keep your fingers crossed for a digital remaster.