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Thomas Dolby curiousity still worth a listen.
on 23 July 2002
This album seems destined to remain unheard by everyone other than hardcore Dolbyphiles.
"The Gate to the Minds Eye", to which this is the soundtrack, is an obscure computer generated animation video that I personally haven't seen. I get the impression from what I could find out about it is that it is a visual, virtual, extravaganza created using the latest computer animation technology at the time (1994). The CD liner notes describe it as an "unparalleled computer animation odyssey". With tracks entitled "Planet of Lost Souls", "Big Bang Backwards" and "Armageddon" I hope you get the picture.
The music is created in part or in whole by Thomas Dolby. There are some instrumental tracks that seem to have been created with the computer animation solely in mind, namely the six part track "The Ascent of Man", "Planet of Lost Souls" and "Big Bang Backwards".
There are two tracks that are co-written by Thomas Dolby with the attractive Doctor of Astrophysics from the University Of Milan Dr. Fiorella Terenzi. Her inclusion and collaberation on this album is a curiousity in itself as she doesn't exactly sing on the tracks N.E.O (Near Earth Object) and Quantum Mechanic but speaks the words in faltering English. Although the liner notes do say that she also studied Opera in Milan, there is no proof here that she can actually sing. She is also credited with co-writing both tracks.
The lyrics of "Quantum Mechanic" have Thomas Dolby written all over them, if you'll pardon the pun, for example: "Quantum mechanic, the matrix mathematic, my Honda is erratic, I'll show you the schematic!"
For me the highlights of the album are "Valley of the Mind's Eye" which is classic Thomas Dolby and could have come straight off of "The Flat Earth", as well as the light hearted "Nuvogue" which has a fun New Orleans jazz feel to it and finally the last track "Moonbase". An instrumental that shows Thomas Dolby's talent for writing classic pop/rock music. Shame he couldn't come up with some words for it though.
Still, it is worth a listen to and is a required buy from any Thomas Dolby fans who haven't yet discovered it.