It seems as though the Alan Parsons Project's conceptual grandeur began to lose its potency right around the mid-'80s. With Stereotomy, the message that Parsons is trying to reveal by way of his music begins to dissipate quickly, and the album is saved only somewhat by a couple of interesting instrumental pieces. On this album, the theme circles around the way in which the modern world molds the personality, the character, and the livelihood of the human being. People are but a slave to their lifestyle and their environment, and they are destined to be thrown into this situation at birth, with tolerance as an inevitability. One must really pay attention to the profound lyrics and loose structuring of the music to attain the concept that Parsons metaphorically dances around. John Miles' angriness on the title track kicks things off, and his forceful voice makes for a passable rock tune. Aside from this song, the only other vocal standout is "In the Real World," again with the help of Miles' assertiveness. Two of the album's instrumentals, "Where's the Walrus?" and "Urbania," conjure up mood and keep the listener slightly poised, causing some musical buoyancy among the blandness of the other tracks. Stereotomy's main theme remains stagnant, ever so slightly regaining consciousness across the nine songs laid out here. Parsons' genius can be better investigated on numerous past releases, as this album comes up short.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne