The Time Machine (Alan Parsons album)

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The Time Machine
Studio album by Alan Parsons
Released 28 September 1999
Genre Progressive rock
Length 51:50
Label Miramar
Producer Alan Parsons
Alan Parsons chronology
On Air
(1996)
The Time Machine
(1999)
A Valid Path
(2004)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

The Time Machine is the third solo album produced and engineered by Alan Parsons following the split of The Alan Parsons Project.

While the sound of this album is recognizably similar in style to some of the soft, ethereal tracks from certain Alan Parsons Project albums, it is noteworthy that none of the writing or performance credits in the sleeve notes (of the CD edition) go to Alan Parsons, except for one short and simple instrumental part on "Temporalia", and that the album lacks much of the rock edge of the previous albums; his relation to the album is almost exclusively as producer. "The Time Machine" (Parts 1 and 2) are in a similar style to that of Robert Miles's first album Dreamland, and not to other Alan Parsons instrumental tracks or the rest of this album.

The track list here is from the North American release; on the Japanese release, the instrumental here called "The Time Machine," is named "H.G. Force" (a reference to H.G. Wells) and a bonus track titled "Beginnings" is also included.

Album's concept[edit]

The themes of time, time travel, and memory of the past had been suggested by Parsons as subject matter for the second Alan Parsons Project album, but writing partner Eric Woolfson favoured a purely futuristic theme of robotic beings eventually displacing the human race, which eventually resulted in the album I Robot.

"Temporalia" features a narration by professor Frank Close on the idea of the universe itself acting as a sort of time machine, whilst "Press Rewind" ponders what we might do if we were able to reverse time, and change decisions we have made. The track "The Call of the Wild" is notable for featuring the vocal talent of Máire Brennan from Clannad.

The album cover has several images related to time and popular time-travel icons, including a photography camera, a clock mechanism, a police box as a reference to the TARDIS in Doctor Who, as well as a wormhole-like tunnel effect from the opening sequence; a DeLorean DMC-12 sportscar referring to the Back to the Future series; and a child playing with a model ship from the Star Trek franchise.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Time Machine (Part 1)" – (Elliott) Instrumental – 5:08
  2. "Temporalia" – (Parsons) Instrumental with narration by Professor Frank Close – 1:10
  3. "Out of the Blue" – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet – 4:59
  4. "Call Up" – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Neil Lockwood – 5:13
  5. "Ignorance Is Bliss" – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Colin Blunstone – 6:49
  6. "Rubber Universe" – (Bairnson) Instrumental – 3:59
  7. "The Call of the Wild" – (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Máire Brennan of Clannad – 5:33
  8. "No Future in the Past" – (Elliott) Lead Vocal Neil Lockwood – 4:48
  9. "Press Rewind" – (Elliott) Lead Vocal Graham Dye – 4:15
  10. "The Very Last Time" – in memory of Gemma (Bairnson) Lead Vocal Beverley Craven – 3:40
  11. "Far Ago And Long Away" – (Bairnson) Instrumental – 5:14
  12. "The Time Machine (Part 2)" – (Elliott) Instrumental – 1:53

The title track is heavily influenced by the Dream Trance style of Robert Miles, indicating a change in style that would be continued on the next album, A Valid Path.

Bonus Tracks[edit]

  1. "Beginnings" – Instrumental – 4:31
  2. "Dr. Evil (edit)" – Lead Vocal Mike Myers) – 3:23

"Dr. Evil (edit)," features the voice of Mike Myers from the second Austin Powers movie, The Spy Who Shagged Me, in which The Alan Parsons Project is mentioned.

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics in this album, like many other albums of Alan Parsons and Alan Parsons Project, are around a central theme, in this case H.G. Wells novel The Time Machine, but touch other themes related to relativity and time travelling.

  • The Time Machine: Instrumental intro about the time machine.
  • Temporalia: Instrumental track, it has professor Frank Close's explanation about time and space relativity, this is an extract of "Equinox – The rubber Universe".
  • Out Of The Blue: Lyrics related to a time traveller from our earth's future.
  • Call Up: About travelling to the past and bringing back all the great people in history, to help change the world.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: talks about our time, and how sad people are in comparison to ancient and simpler times, and the possibility of change for good to a simple way of life.
  • Rubber Universe: Instrumental related to the expansion of the universe.
  • The Call Of The Wild: Talks about a future when mankind will be one without any separation (ethnicities, faith, nations, etc.). The melody of this song is a variation of a traditional Irish folk song "She Moves Through the Fair".
  • No Future In The Past: Talks about avoiding repeating past mistakes.
  • Press Rewind: About the possibility of going back in time and starting all over again, doing the same again or changing something for better.
  • The Very Last Time: A song about people that have gone and never been seen again (alive or not). The song was actually written about the author's dead dog.
  • Far Ago And Long Away: Instrumental using a play on words, as in relativity "space" = "time" so "far away" = "far ago" and "long ago" = "long away".
  • The Time Machine (Part 2): Instrumental outro about the time machine.

References[edit]