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Gaudi [Bonus Tracks]

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not With A Bang, Not Even With a Whimper

    The idea that 1987's "Gaudi" would prove to be the final album by the Alan Parsons Project might have been more than a little surprising to the admirers of the band. After all, this is a concept album about a relatively obscure Spanish architect who had been dead for almost exactly sixty years before this album was released. Project songwriter, lyricist and the man responsible in the most part for managing the "concept" aspect of the APP, Eric Woolfson, sings lead on nearly half of the album's songs, leaving the other songs to the band's usual vocalists. Upon reading the remastered edition's liner notes, one comes to believe that this particular album was pretty much Woolfson's baby, with Parsons lurking about in the back providing his always near-perfect sound and arrangements. No song in particular stands out; even the obligatory instrumental seems to fade away into the ether of the whole. After the underwhelming sales of this album, the APP entered the studio to make another album, centered around Sigmund Freud. However, conflict between Woolfson and Parsons over songs, lyrics and production led to a double album, "Freudiana", being released with no artist's name listed. It was an APP album in all but name, with all of the usual suspects appearing, but it proved to be the end of the line. The Alan Parsons Project name was retired, and both principals went their own ways. This sad, sputtering end is regrettable, considering that the APP had flown the prog rock flag throughout the '70s and '80s, long after such music had fallen far from grace. It is also sad that the official end should have come with such a weak album. Still, if you're a completist, here "Gaudi" is in all its remastered glory (Parsons IS a studio wizard, and is seemingly incapable of making an album which doesn't astound the listener with pure sonic achievement), with bonus tracks that fail to really add anything to the package as a whole. Enjoy the APP's official swan song, or rue the day. Or both.

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