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Planet P Project

Planet P Project

Review by Larry Toering

Tony Carey spent some time putting together these tunes to have an outlet for a side project between solo albums. He played most of the instruments and sang all of the vocals and came up with a good promotional platform for it as well. He has only released three Planet P albums to this day and one of them was many years after the first two, in fact much more recent.

Over the years he has pretty much done it all, worked with Ritchie Blackmore as the keyboard player for Rainbow on what is arguably their best album in the 70's, and Blackmore’s son Jurgen Blackmore on a project with a German female vocalist. Health problems have been in the picture and that may have hindered some of his progress as an artist, but this is one rare talent indeed.

Around the time this was released he also had a solo album with some fantastic stuff on it as well, and even a mild hit with “I Won't Be Home Tonight.” He has always been working on one project or another. This is a killer disc that belongs in every radio friendly collection. In my opinion it's Carey's magnum opus

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Static

This is a rather sleepy tune to open such an album with, but it's a fantastic sleeper at that. This is one of the tracks that was promoted with a video clip. This is one of my favorite tracks, from one of my favorite records, from one of my favorite artists, so I'll describe the songs with very little if any bias, and let the readers do the rest. This is often referred to as an 80s dud, but to me it's a work of art.

King For A Day
The tempo goes right up here and this track is reminiscent of Carey's solo work, but it belongs on this album nevertheless. This is not the best thing here, but certainly not the worst either. Carey displays his fine vocal chops all over it, and there is nothing spectacular to say about the music, but it's still an enjoyable tune.
I Won't Wake Up
This has one of the more 80s-oriented vibes to it and it's a pleasant number for the most part, but all in all it's one of the low points. But it still has a very sing along approach and the music is very similar in some parts to something Kraftwerk is best known for doing. But that element doesn't dominate the arrangement; it's just how the keyboards come through. It's very scientific sounding between the sets of lyrics. All of the tracks do have a thread, as this is progressive rock, but once again of the variety I probably like most, which is AOR oriented.
Top Of The World
More of the same here with a slower pace, this is another mood piece for the project. Personally this is one of the only tracks I can really do without, but I still somehow find myself reaching for it as a fan of Carey in general.
Armageddon
The pace doesn't pick up too much here, but this track is quite an improvement from the previous one. There is a familiarity to it that once it gets a hold of you won't let go. This is every bit as memorable to me as anything on the record.
Tranquility Base
This is another fine number of the slower and more dreary sounding approach. It's as good as “Static,” in my opinion. This is a fantastic little tune. There is a theme that can't be denied and this track lends to it as much as any other. It’s one of the best here when it all boils down.
Why Me
This is, of course, the hit track with which many who listened to rock in the 80s can identify. “Does it still hold up?” is the question. And, if you ask me, it does. It deals with the same fears throughout, and probably hits the mark better than the rest, with the exception of the next number.
Power Tools
This track makes it all worth while for me. It's full of humor and great musical passages to add to the whole subject. Carey is brilliant here with Gomer Pyle and technology and its ability to make life easy serving as subject matter. “Power Tools” lend the helping hand for this totally awesome track. This is easily my favorite Carey penned track.
Send It In A Letter
Another slower number, this somehow still doesn't tend to bore. It's nothing too exciting but very likable either way. One of the best things here is the memorable factor.
Adam And Eve
This starts off with a very “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” feeling but gets quickly away from it. There is a pop beat to this that I have always liked, and the vocals are bursting with passion. Once again, this is nothing spectacular but it's still catchy. When the keyboards come in at the middle of the track, they bring another Beatles element along with them.
Only You And Me
This doesn't move up in tempo but it doesn't move down in drama either. If I had to let go of any of these tracks this would be an easy contender. It’s not too weak, but just lacking a bit in strength.
Ruby
There are different versions of this album, and this was a bonus track on one of them and can often be confused as an out-take. For me it belongs here along with the rest of these excellent cuts. Carey never fails to entertain, whether it be with a band or on his own, and this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's no wreck either. It's a fine closer to what I consider to be a fine record, if perhaps just a tad on the dated side. If you haven't heard this entire album for what it's really worth, I recommend finding a copy and giving it a chance, you might be very surprised at the sheer quality within.
 
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