Fireworks

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - 'Lost In The New Real' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/3e/db/ce/2204_arjenanthonylucassenlostinthenewreal_1337880051.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 24, 2012    
 
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An early contender for album of the year.

Arjen Lucassen, the mastermind behind the expansive guest strewn Ayreon rock operas and the space rock project Star One (to name but a few!), returns with what is only the second solo album of his illustrious career, the first being ‘Pools Of Sorrow, Waves Of Joy’ way back in 1994. ‘Lost In The New Real’ truly is a solo effort where Arjen handles all the lead vocals and plays most of the instruments himself. This album has given him a chance to break free from the shackles and expectations of his other projects and just let the creative juices flow. And you know what? The results are pretty spectacular, so much so that I haven’t been able to stop playing it since it arrived on my review pile!

 The album contains a dazzling and eclectic mix of styles from prog to rock, folk, metal, industrial and even pop that tips its hat to Arjen’s main influences: The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Of course you can’t have an Arjen Lucassen album without some sort of concept running through it. ‘Lost In The New Real’ tells the story of a 21st century man who dies of a terminal disease only to be brought back to life in the distant future when technology has advanced to the point where his disease can be cured. Arjen takes you on a musical journey of how this man ‘Mr L’ struggles to adapt to his new environment where population control, euthanasia and strict E-security prevail. This is where the album really shines for me and the reason is two-fold. On the one hand there are Arjen’s clever, insightful and tongue in cheek lyrics where he not only compares the present to a perceived future but also takes a playful stab at issues that face us today such as manufactured pop music ‘sounds so right, feels so wrong’ and internet file sharing 'reducing this world to a dull and selfless place’. The other is a real masterstroke. Fellow Dutchman Rutger Hauer plays the part of narrator and the main protagonist’s psychoanalyst. He is the perfect choice as his husky, menacing tones make him sound more than a little unhinged and fits the plot beautifully. 

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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As with any Arjen Lucassen album you get plenty of value for money. Accompanying the main concept album is a second disc made up of additional tracks that were written for the concept but couldn’t be fitted onto the first disc as well as some cover versions chosen to fit the concept. The additional concept tracks are just as good as those on the main disc and Arjen breathes new life into Floyd’s ‘Welcome To The Machine’ and Zep’s ‘Battle Of Evermore’ making them seriously rock in the process!

I’ve always thought of Lucassen as a musical genius and this album is testament to his immense talent as a musician and lyricist. Take it from me this is a definite early contender for album of the year.

Alister Strachan

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