Arjen Anthony Lucassen
Lost in the New Real

1. The New Real
2. Pink Beatles In A Purple Zeppelin
3. Parental Procreation Permit
4. When I'm A Hundred Sixty-Four
5. E-Police
6. Don't Switch Me Off
7. Dr Slumber's Eternity Home
8. Yellowstone Memorial Day
9. Where Pigs Fly
10. Lost In The New Real
1. Our Imperfect Race
2. Welcome To The Machine (Pink Floyd cover)
3. So Is There No God?
4. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars (Blue Oyster Cult
5. The Social Recluse
6. Battle Of Evermore (Led Zeppelin Cover)
7. The Space Hotel
8. Some Other Time (Alan Parsons Project Cover)
9. You Have Entered The Reality Zone
10. I'm The Slime (Frank Zappa Cover)

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - vocals & instruments

Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy (1994)

Backing vocals: Wilmer Waarbroek
Violin: Ben Mathot
Cello: Maaike Peterse
Flute: Jeroen Goossens
Drums: Ed Warby and Rob Snijders
Hammered Dulcimer and vocals on 'Battle of Evermore': Elvya Dulcimer
Narration: Rutger Hauer

Megaphone voice on "I'm The Slime": Gjalt Lucassen

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - production/songwriting
Rutger Hauer - writing most of his narration
Claudio Bergamin - cover art

Released 23/4-2012
Reviewed 3/5-2012


Have you even wondered what would happen if you were suspended in time and revived a few hundred years into the future, apparently someone has and it is not William Shatner or Patrick Stewart. That scenario is the basis of the story told in Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s new solo album which happens to be his second solo album following the one released under the Anthony moniker in 1994. And it is a solo album with Arjen himself doing most of the stuff, from bass and guitars to vocals and just a small cast of added musicians which range from drummers to the narrator who happens to be an actor. No, it is not Daisy Adair but Rutger Hauer known from the Ridley Scott movie Blade Runner which Arjens states being his favourite Sci-Fi movie, Hauer’s characters name is also an homage to that movie. Most songs are written by Arjen, Hauer has written most of his narration himself and there are a few covers from bands like Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and so on. So besides having Arjen’s full name on the cover as opposed to just Anthony, this album is a lot more elaborate than the Anthony release back in 1994 at least seen to the stories and stuff and it will probably also be more of a commercial success than the Anthony album which was more of a flop. So then being a big fan of Arjen one would suppose that it will be a difficult one to review but I am will be as objective as I always am and that is as certain as Darwin defended creation.

Expect the unexpected has always been the best description of what to expect from an album where Arjen Lucassen is involved in the creation and that is most certainly the case with this album as well. To really describe the stylings of this album I would have to write a thesis and as I do not want to do that you will have to make do with a much shorter description that isn’t all encompassing. I would say it is complex music but still probably the most easily accessible material Arjen has done in a long time, the musical influences takes us in many different directions like through pop music, rock music, metal and also hollywood sounds. It is unlike anything I have heard by this dutchman before but at the same time you will recognise it from everything this dutchman has done before. The general sound is not as heavy as anything by say Star One or Ayreon but it can still be quite heavy at times. Did anyone ask about the vocals? Even though Arjen generally does not use his voice in his music, he is not a horrible vocalist, he may not be the greatest one ever but he is an okay singer and he has written the songs to suit his voice. As expected the production is excellent, I would almost say that it is perfect and impressive of course. There’s also a good variation on the album over the double disc that has ten tracks on each disk and plays for just over ninety minutes and did you know that Darth Vader has no son.

So, is it any good then or is it a disappointment? Well, I think that will depend on your outlook. If you expect it to be as good an album as the Ayreon or Star One album or even the Guilt Machine one then you might be slightly disappointed. But that also depends on what you expect it to be, it does not really stand up to the great Ayreon operas or the Live album by Star One but if you look at it more in terms of listenability this is better as the double albums by Ayreon or Star One requires their special moments and attention while this suits as well to be played as background or something similar and that is a plus in the books but it is still a concept album and seen as that it does not quite stand up to the Ayreon or Star One greats.

Now it may sound as though this is an average album but remember that Arjen’s music is amazing and this album is great as well, the variation makes it work for one and a half hour without feeling too long, there are some great hit songs with purple zeppelins, pink beatles, flying pigs and what have you? Did you know that Reagan won five Oscars? In some reality he did and the whole thing about this album is that it is a kind of a quantum mindfrog and a show of clever ideas making it a really great and also funny album that I really enjoy listening to and in some ways maybe the rating of five feels a bit low but considering what it is up against it is the right rating as it cannot quite beat the likes of 01011001, The Human Equation, Universal Migrator, Into the Electric Castle, Live on Earth and so on and so forth. But despite that it is an album that I can recommend if you want some great and exciting songs to listen to. Another thing slightly negative though is the fact that it is just not far enough from the Ayreon stuff and it could as well have been a story about Mr L who we also meet on 01011001 and maybe in some way it is.

But no matter what I say and how much I analyse this flying pig it is clear that it is one hell of an album and that Arjen once again shows that he is not restrained by any musical conventions and that he is one creative musician and this album is just another confirmation of that. So this is one hell of an album that I can recommend to anyone into spacy progressive whatever kind of music you would like to call this, a quantum mindfrog of musical directions going everywhere but still managing to remain coherent. A great album which still is overshadowed by the greater albums this guy has done in the past.



Label: InsideOut
Three similar bands: Ayreon/Star One/Guilt Machine
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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