From The New World

Alan Parsons

Frontier Records, 2022

http://alanparsonsmusic.com

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/19/2022

Trepidation (n.) a feeling of fear or agitation about something that may happen.

Oh, you want it used in a sentence?

After The Secret, I had a great deal of trepidation about Alan’s new CD.

Then, about the third time I listened to it, I started singing along. Suddenly birds began to sing, a shaft of light came down and graced me with a halo, and all was right with the world. The Cosmic Balance had been corrected. (Okay. I might be exaggerating a little.)

Seriously, though, Alan seems to have picked up some pieces he was missing. I think that it’s no mistake the album begins with a heartfelt paean to his late longtime partner and friend, Eric Woolfson (“Fare Thee Well”); he seems to have finally assembled around him fellow musicians he’s comfortable with, including songwriting partners who seem to have Eric’s touch with lyrics. There are some odd ducks—James Durbin, anyone? The metal guy from American Idol?—but dammit, it works. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I’m not even going to discuss the production and engineering. The minute that’s anything less than brilliant on a digitally-recorded Parsons album I’m hanging up my speakers and riding over the Rainbow Bridge. The guest stars all work: David Pack of Ambrosia (who has had an on/off collaborative relationship with Parsons since the late seventies), Joe Bonamassa (who seems to have finally provided Parsons with a sympatico lead guitarist for the first time since Ian Bairnson retired), Durbin, and Tommy Shaw of Styx (whose performance on “Uroboros” is nothing short of stunning). Durbin handles “Send ‘Em My Love” with ease, and songs like “Halos” and “Don’t Fade Now” are very good. There’s even a cover version of—wait for it—the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” because Alan was influenced by Phil Spector (who he admits in the CD liners was a bad person, but also acknowledges Spector’s huge influence on American pop music).

And then there’s David Pack with “I Won’t Get Led Astray.”

“Astray” is the best thing that Parsons has done since “Take The Money And Run,” off his Live CD. This is the Master at his best. The harmonies are amazing, Pack hasn’t lost an iota of his range, and Bonamassa tears the doors off when appropriate.

Thank the gods we can put ‘trepidation’ back on the spelling list where it belongs. “From The New World” proves that you can keep being new, no matter how old you are.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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