Jeffery K. Matheus | Indianapolis, IN United States | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""On Air" rates as one of Alan Parsons finest works to date. This is an album of pure bliss for anyone who who calls themselves a melodic rock fan. It also stands as an excellent entry into the world of "concept albums", something that music fans like myself need more of! This time the concept is the history of flight, and Parsons pumps plenty of emotion into his subject matter with bold musical themes, and lyrical references to aviation, the Challenger space mission, and an especially intense (almost paranoid) ode to the fear of flying titled "Can't Look Down". Like previous Alan Parsons releases, "On Air" covers a wide variety of musical moods and styles, and this time you can expect much of the same. "Too Close To the Sun" has a dreamy atmospheric quality, with lyrics about the fall of Icarus. "Brother Up In Heaven" is a lush piano-based ballad, with a fine vocal from former ELO Part 2 singer Neil Lockwood, the song also makes nice use of a sparse orchestral arrangement. "Fall Free" is a rocker with a powerful chorus, and an equally powerful vocal performance by Steve Overland. Another guest vocalist, Eric Stewart of 10cc, adds greatly to "Blue Blue Sky", a gentle acoustic piece which is reprised at the end of the album. "Cloudbreak" is an exhilarating instrumental with great guitar licks from long-time Parsons cohort Ian Bainson, another instrumental, "Apollo", is a throbbing burst of synths and electronic percussion, interspersed with quotes about the Apollo Mission from John F. Kennedy. All in all, if you are a fan of Alan Parsons, or just quality melodic rock in general, then "On Air" should NOT be missed! Also, this is an album that sounds absolutely stunning through a good pair of headphones! Parsons has constructed a mix which takes full advantage of stereo panning, background arrangements, clever sound effects (which always have something to do with the song), and even snatches of conversations! (A bit reminicent of his production work on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon") So if you don't have headphones, you may want to order a set to go with this CD! : )"
Get this in DTS
Scott Holder | Bonnots Mill Missouri | 10/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a tough album to rate. You think one thing with the stereo version and another with the DTS mix. For starters, the stereo version is less "Project-sounding" than Alan's first "solo" album, Try Anything Once. On the other hand, the theme is tight and very well done. People who pine away for the days of Woolfson's thematic contributions to the Project are apt to be dissapointed because the lyrical constructs are different. However, the thematic element contained in On Air is equal to most material from the Project days, it's simply different.Musically, it's very understated and almost low-key to a fault in places. Until one listens to the DTS mix. Then you're suddenly thrown back 20 years to the entire premise of the Project and studio engineering as an extension of musical instruments. In this case, the DTS version allowed Alan to do so much more and you'll "hear" things that make you wish something like I Robot were mixed in DTS as well. No kidding, even the low key songs (So Far Away for example) are sparkling clear and take on an entire new complexion with surround sound. Alan crammed so much more into the DTS mix that you'll never go back to the stereo version again. The instrumental Apollo, in DTS, rivals anything instrumental from any other AP/P album. It will just blow you away.And there are some rocking pieces on the album that are up there with the best of the Project or other post-Project work (Fall Free and Can't Look Down). And the end of the album, Blue Blue Sky II, is argueably the best ending to an AP/P album ever. And that puts it in some mighty impressive company. So, if you have a DTS system (and they're awfully affordable now), get this album. If you're mired in a stereo world, the album is still worth having although if you're expecting something similar to either Try Anything Once or The Time Machine, you'll not get it and probably won't like it nearly as much. At worst, this album compares well to Project efforts like Gaudi, Vulture Culture, and Ammonia Avenue and in many spots, surpasses those albums both in music and lyrical content."
One Of The Originals In DTS
Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 08/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Check out the line-up of musicians on this album. You already have great potential. Although this album was released in 1997 when DTS was fairly new, it still manages to have captured all of the qualities that DTS is famous for. Most of the songs have some kind of DTS 'trick', such as a fighter plane flying through the speakers or the sounds of a forest 'clicking and chirping' away before and during an acoustic song ("Blue Blue Sky"). The bass is not overpowering on this set, but the range and dynamics of the sound separation are wonderful and the mood is serene throughout. This album was made intentionally for DTS, unlike the newer albums that are recoded, which makes for a fantastic experience. If you have the DTS system, there are not too many choices (yet) of famous albums, but ones I can recommend are, "Moody Blues; Days of Future Passes", "Eric Clapton; 461 Ocean Blvd" and any film or rock concert after 2000 that was recording in DTS."
Good Experience Using The DTS 5.1 Channel
C. PING | Somewhere in the world | 01/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since I bought the home theater music center that provide the DTS decoder,I have always looked forward to find a good audio material to test my system. Finally,I got the Alan Parson's On Air DTS CD Album,I am very glad to enjoy it often from then on , and I am moved every time when I listened to it.
Although this is only a DTS CD not like the most resent released DVD-Audio DVDs that provide high resolution 24bits/96kHZ audio,but it still give the 5.1 channel a clear-cut definition. All the 5.1 channel are performed so propriately,and you can feel you are just surronded by them through the full album. Not only that,but also Alan Parsons have done their fine job in this album,the vocal is so pure and the music is so splendid.
To be a Alan Parsons Fan, I deeply recommend this to anyone who also likes Alan Pasons,or anyone who is eager to find a good DTS audio disc."
Excellent Use of 5.1 Channel DTS Surround
ALK | Houston, TX United States | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alan Parsons (note : No "Project") DTS release of the "On Air" CD was heralded as the first of many releases where the 5.1-channel DTS version would appear at the same time as the regular CD. That was not to be, but the results are still enjoyable.All the songs on the CD are about flying in one manner or another. The songs include tributes to hot air balloons, powered flight, Apollo missions to the moon and the Space Shuttle. The album makes excellent use of the six channels. At times a little too much use of the six channels.As with mid-60s stereo, much of the sound is mixed completely to one of the 5 main channels. A little more blending would have helped this DTS CD. However, it is interesting to hear a vocal pan around a room once or twice. To be fair, the "gimicky" use of the surround channels only occurs a few times.It isn't hard to believe that the music on this DTS CD was created with 5.1-channel sound in mind. The music would sound much less "natural" in any stereo format. While maybe not quite a "must have", it is good enough to recommend for any DTS CD collection."