Freudiana

Freudiana

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Back in the '70s, engineer/producer Alan Parsons wanted to dedicate an entire album to fantasy writer Edgar Allan Poe. He hired numerous musicians and singers to help him in what would become the first album of the Alan Parsons Project. Initially meant to be a one-time experience, the "project" turned into a full-time band, and quite a successful one, with that. Some two decades later, Eric Woolfson, Parsons' long-time companion, puts up his own project. This time, it is not about Poe but about Freud. The subsequent band and album are both named Freudiana, as is one of the tracks. And of course, the whole is produced by -- who else -- Alan Parsons himself. The result is a concept album which offers -- to quote the liner notes: "an image of the composer seen through a Freudian mirror." The lyrics go through various interpretations of Freud's works, studying all his most famous cases (Wolfman, Ratman, Dora, Little Hans, Schreber and the Judge). Some songs (like "Little Hans") are reminiscent of the Beatles -- which shouldn't be too surprising, considering Woolfson used to be a member of Herman's Hermits. Others are obvious reminders of the Alan Parsons Project (most noticeably "Dora"). The rest can be progressive at times ("Funny You Should Say That," "No One Can Love You Better Than Me") and the whole is very creative and intelligent. Lead vocals, as on all of the Alan Parsons Project releases, are shared by a number of singers -- from Woolfson himself to Kiki Dee, Eric Stewart and John Miles. The strongest performances are by Leo Sayer ("I Am a Mirror") and the Flying Pickets (on the strange, yet incredibly powerful, "Funny You Should Say That"). Unlike Parsons' Poe project, Freudiana did not lead to any follow-up albums. Probably because this project was too obscure and unsuccessful. A pity.

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