About the Album:
Alan Parsons, “the eleven-time Grammy nominated legendary music icon and master of progressive rock,” AZ made a name for himself in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when he did production and engineering work on legendary albums such as the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. In 1975, he formed the Alan Parsons Project and released ten studio albums through the ‘70s and ‘80s. The collective featured a wide variety of players with Eric Woolfson being the one constant.
In 1990, Parsons lent a hand to Woolfson’s official debut album, Freudiana, before they parted ways. Parsons released his first official solo album, Try Anything Once, in 1993. It featured many of the same players he’d worked with on the Project. Now, nearly 30 years later, Parsons is releasing only his sixth album as a solo artist. From the New World “continues with the classic sound Parsons has become known for…fusing progressive, symphonic, and classic rock elements together throughout this stunning new album.” UCR
“An Alan Parsons album is a project by any name, regardless of how the veteran British artist and studio technician chooses to brand it.” GG From the New World “feels more intimate and reflective, but it has many of the same hallmarks, sonically in spots and with its corps of instrumental and vocal contributors. Parsons, meanwhile, spearheads everything as composer, producer and visionary, conducting and arranging all of the elements into a pristine but still organic-sounding 11-song set that would have worked as easily as the follow-up to 1977’s I, Robot as it does in 2022.” GG
Parsons turns to one familiar player from the Project days– David Pack. Pack was with the group Ambrosia in the ‘70s and ‘80s, singing lead on top-10 hits “Biggest Part of Me” and “How Much I Feel.” Parsons engineered the band’s debut album in 1975 and produced their 1976 album. He brought the entire group in to work on the Project’s debut album, Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Pack would return to work with Parsons on the Try Anything Once and 2004’s A Valid Path. He returns here to lend his vocals to From the New World’s second single, I Won’t Be Led Astray. The song has the feel of a classic Alan Parsons Project ballad.
The album’s lead single, Uroboros, features an even better known classic rock singer – Tommy Shaw from Styx. Shaw first appeared on the band’s 1976 Crystal Ball and sang lead on classics like “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man,” and the top-10 hit “Too Much Time on My Hands.” Shaw not only lends his vocal chops to “the muscular ‘Uroboros,” GG but plays guitar.
Other special guests include “guitar viruoso Joe Bonamassa,” UCR who “lends nuanced guitar parts to Give ‘Em My Love and ‘I Won’t Be Led Astray.’” GG The former features American Idol alumni James Durbin, who adds “wonderful atmosphere to the stunning performances by Alan and his incredible backing band.” AZ The song was released as the third single from the album.
“Like most of Parsons’ work, From the New World has a thematic grounding to tie together its 45 minutes. The title nods to Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, aka New World Symphony, which Parsons writes in the album’s notes was a favorite of his father’s. In this case, it serves as a reference to the new world that's come in the wake of the pandemic, but there’s a direct connection, too, in Parsons’ inclusion of Goin’ Home. The 1922 song with lyrics by Dvorak’s student William Arms Fisher became the source for Symphony No. 9’s Largo movement, and it’s a deeply emotional elegy for the brink of death (‘Mother's there ‘specting me / Father’s waiting, too / Lots of folk gathered there / All the friends I knew’). Given Parsons’ 73 years and recent news of a serious spinal issue, it has profound resonance as the album’s penultimate track.” GG
“But the mood lightens when ‘Goin’ Home’ is followed by a faithful take on the Ronettes’ Be My Baby, as if that’s the music greeting Parsons’ narrator as he or she arrives on the other side. Before all that, however, From the New World is an easily digestible song set that’s generally more gentle and restrained than the Project approach, with nods to Parsons’ prog roots but little of the bombast that comes with it.” GG
“Fare Thee Well starts things with a ringing guitar pattern that references I, Robot – as well as references to mortality.” GG “In addition to vocals, mainstay Todd Cooper accents "Fare Thee Well" with his saxophone.” GG
“Obstacles finds a common ground between the Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe’ and vintage Renaissance, while Don’t Fade Now also mines a folky field with Parsons and P.J. Olsson sharing lead vocals. You Are the Light is a joyous pop love song, and The Secret continues to express Parsons’ passion for magic, which was the topic of his previous solo album of the same name.” GG “At this point, Parsons is no longer dealing in the ‘tales of mystery and imagination’ of the Project heyday – to everyone’s benefit. Leading with his heart makes this New World a worthwhile place to spend some time.” GG