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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Alan Parsons

Vulture Culture

Review by Gary Hill

I remember when this album first came out thinking that it was kind of a throw-away Alan Parsons disc. Sure, it didn’t rise to the dizzying progressive rock heights of previous releases and it did suffer from some 80s elements. The truth is, it’s a pretty good album, though. There are enough Parsons trademarks to make it work and a few of the songs are exceptional. The rest are still pretty good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Let's Talk About Me

The building section that opens this is dramatic and powerful and classic Alan Parsons. In a lot of ways, the song proper makes me think of a combination of Parsons with Supertramp. It’s an energetic and accessible cut that works really well. The chorus is more of a pure Alan Parsons sound. There are great vocal harmonies and some cool instrumental textures.

Separate Lives
The rhythm section on this feels a little too artificial for my tastes. Still, beyond that it’s classic Alan Parsons in sound and texture. The vocal arrangement has some great multiple layers.
Days Are Numbers (The Traveller)
Although there is an electronic edge (and some eighties music at points) to the arrangement here, song wise and vocal performance wise, this is a classic Alan Parsons balladic number. The little bits of funk are a little unusual for Parsons, but the song has an accessible chorus and familiar feel. I like the saxophone solo.
Sooner or Later
The super polished pop side of Alan Parsons is well represented on this catchy number. Even though it’s one of the least proggy things here, it’s also one of the most effective.
Vulture Culture
Parts of this remind me a little of the I Robot album. Yet, there is also a definite jazz element at play here. It’s still trademark Parsons. The closing instrumental section really brings that I Robot meets fusion sound to full fruition.
Basically an instrumental, this also combines classic Parsons with a more jazzy element. It’s a fun little number that feels very much like vintage Parsons in so many ways. 
Somebody out There
This rocker is among the best of the disc. It’s both proggy and pop oriented. It also very much feels like a classic Parsons tune. It’s just so cool. This one is almost worth the price of admission all by itself. There are definitely Beatles-esque elements at play at times.
The Same Old Sun
This song also has a very classic Parsons sound to me. It’s a compelling and particularly evocative tune. It does a great job of closing the set in style.
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