Alan Parsons, A Valid Path

I have misgivings about even writing this review because I actually attended the tour for this album when they were in Los Angeles (at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, if you must know), and Alan Parsons himself signed the Eye In The Sky CD in my office. Frankly, it's because this album's not that great. Parsons never seemed to get over his time with Pink Floyd and this solo effort feels like his level best to ape the post-Waters sound right down to the Storm Thorgerson cover and David Gilmour on the lead track; it's probably no coincidence that it's the best one, too ("Return To Tunguska"). There's no problem with the production and there's no issue with the technology as those have always been his strength. Instead, the original songs are generally dull and derivative (especially the P.J. Olsson-fronted songs, "More Lost Without You" in particular, but also "You Can Run"), the revolving door of featured artists don't seem to translate into any variety, and the unoriginal songs ("Mammagamma '04" and a retread of the two lead tracks from "Tales of Mystery and Imagination") would be better served as bonus tracks on a reissue than on this separate album. And then there's the stunt casting: as John Cleese! murmurs irritatedly at the end of "Chomolungma" (probably the only other notable song on the album), "How much longer is this going on?" At least it was better in person! (Content: no concerns.)