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Lost in the New Real
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£13.10+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2012
I'm a big fan of Lucassen's work, be it Ayreon, Guilt Machine and especially Star One. I especially like the huge cast he normally assembles to implment his musical and lyrical ideas so I was curious to find out what a "solo" album would be like.
And I'm pleased to say I wasn't disappointed. Alright, the out of my time sci-fi storyline has been done any number of times, but this interplay of music and storyline works very well. I even found myself wondering where the tracks on disc 2 would fit into the overall scheme of things. Is "You have entered the reality zone" an alternative happy ending to "Lost in the new real"? The only thing which doesn't really fit is Battle of Evermore but the dulcimer works really well on it. My only complaint is that Some Other Time seems to lack the passion of the original (if I've remembered it correctly). The lyrics are comedic, narrative and thought-provoking covering heavy topics like euthanasia, policing of the internet and old age without becoming depressive or preachy. The music is varied - very little of the bone-crunching guitar evident throughout Victims of the Modern Age which is a shame - but great melodies and hooks nevertheless. And he still brings in a big cast despite it supposedly being a solo effort.
Intelligent lyrics put to great music around an albeit well-worn storyline. This album, like Turisas' "The Varangian Way" and "Stand Up and Fight" are crying out to be made into stage shows. Time to dump musicals about pigs and the French Revolution and get into this!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2012
Heard clips of this before release and was not hopeful. Glad to say this is a full blown techni colour feast of rock styles, catchy tunes and tongue in cheek references to past masters. A full rich sound with lots of synth bass lines to test your floorboards. Most of all there are tunes. Tunes by the bucket load. Ignore the concept and simply enjoy the tunes. Only one song out of the twenty grate. Even the cover versions work. Welcome to the machine sounds like a folky Ramstein meets PF. Buy and smile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 May 2012
Like others said earlier, Arjen Lucassen has an enormous catalogue of great music, no matter if it is labelled Ayreon, Stream of Passion, Star One or under his own name. This album "borrows" from all of those. Many of the songs would fit seamlessly in one of the Ayreon, Star One or Stream of Passion albums but they are still different enough to make them stand out as great songs in their own right. If you got the 2-CD version, you got some extra tracks and a bunch of covers. And there is where the pain is. Some of them sound like they are Lucassen originals (The battle of Evermore is a great song in itself and fits in very very well), others sound completely out of place (Welcome to the machine sucks as an original and sucks as a cover). All in all a nice album but there are too few surprises to make it an essential. If you got the download, you can easily skip the crappy songs and compile your own almost perfect version of the album.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
First off - I love the music of Mr Lucassen, be it Star One, Ayreon, Guilt Machine or early Stream Of Passion.....he's alway been right on the money, for me at least........right, that's out of the way then!
So what have we here - well a wonderfully packaged, intelligent bit of soft rock opera with country, jazz, blues, classical, heavy rock all peppered in, for good measure, and all bound together with the voice of Rutger Hauer...this really is one of the most eclectic offerings from Arjen to date.
I remember reading about how Arjen had hawked his original rock opera around the record companies going back a number of years ago and finding no takers - all saying that rock operas were rather passe and there was no market for it...and here we are many years on and Arjen is still knocking them out and, moreover gaining quite a following of his operatic themed music too!
Kicking off with The New Real, this sets pretty much the standard for the whole album with a wonderful acoustic backdrop for Arjen's understated vocal work intermingled with electric power chords for emphasis before we roll onto a tongue in cheek recognition of late sixties music in the form of Pink Beatles In A Purple Zeppelin....no prizes for guessing what that sounds like..nor, indeed, When I'm One Hundred-Sixty Four! Sublime!
On disc Two, we also get additional acknowledgements to Arjen's heroes in Welcome To The Machine, Battle Of Evermore and I'm The Slime....all played with the unmistakable sound that is Arjen's own - so there is music for all tastes here be it to dib in and out of or whether you want a serious bit of listening to do too - it really is all here!
And, as for the packaging - as I've said before, Insideout records have made this their very own artform so that you have a quality product to read and admire whilst listening to the music - brilliant! Don't just take my word for it, treat yourself and experience it yourself - you will not be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2012
This is, to me, just instantly recognisable as being by Arjen.The only thing is that he's doing all the singing this time. Has every hallmark of his imagination, musicianship and joy in his work. It's a very interesting project, thought-provoking and fun at the same time, with a good variety of musical styles. Disc one, the main meal, the concept story, is wonderful - hugely entertaining to listen to. And the voice and character of Rutger Hauer introducing each song adds a lot to the whole thing and makes me smile. I don't enjoy disc 2 anywhere near as much though. It's okay, but the songs of his own that Arjen says didn't fit on the first disc aren't really as good as the ones actually on the first disc. The cover versions are done well enough, especially Veteran Of The Psychic Wars, but I suppose it's just a case of whether you personally like the songs or not. For myself, just disc one would have done fine - I'm not too bothered about the 2nd one. Well worth buying for disc one alone, though, and I can't imagine any fan of Arjen's being disappointed by this! Fantastic package too - lovely artwork, and videos too. Well done, Arjen!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lost in the New Real is Arjen once again matching up with the hype that surrounds his work. If you like Arjen's other work like Ayreon, Star One, Guilt Machine etc then I'm 99% sure you'll like this album. However I think it goes beyond Arjen fans, this album has a variety of songs that can appeal to various tastes. Unexpectedly my mother likes E-Police... It contains the spacey tracks expected from Arjen seen in Star One with the distinctive prog sound of Ayreon and Guilt Machine. Then there's the covers of Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Zeppelin, Alan Parsons Project and Zappa which are all done well, I particularly like the heavy 'Welcome to the Machine' cover. These bands are among Arjen's influences which are more visible in this album than earlier ones, that all adds to the variety and feel. If you look around the internet you'll find many beaming reviews for this album.

Personally I just feel its a highly enjoyable light hearted album of catchy songs. It may take two listens to get into but after that you'll have it on all week. Defiantly worth getting.
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on 15 December 2012
First off I'm a big fan of Arjen Lucassen's work, I've got all of his CDs from Ayreon to Star One and for the most part enjoy them all to varying degrees but the best of his is enough to keep me coming back.

I was looking forward to a solo release as I imagined it perhaps more like his older work such as The Final Experiment or Actual Fantasy, containing a more varied style unlike the later Ayreons and Star Ones which have a very particular sound. I think Arjen did deal quite an eclectic album sown together by his innocent charm. Unfortunately that might be it's downfall. All of the tracks ping-pong between topical and referential ('Pink Beatles In A Purple Zeppelin' being on obvious one compared to 'E-Police' about internet policing) and while it's a jolly ride any important points being made just bounce off the soft cushiony bits and it all falls to the ground laughing. Perhaps the album didn't intend to send a message, rather just send us on a fun ride into the future, but the bookend tracks ('The New Real' and 'Lost In The New Real') seem too emotionally intense to really support the carefree attitude of the middle. At some points he tries to tell the story of a character distraught by his strange findings in the future but it just feels undermined by the bubbly atmosphere through most of it.

The biggest flaw for me was unfortunately the lyrics. Sure Ayreon albums usually have some on-the-nose B-movie lines but here I think they sink to a new low... often making me cringe. Arjen sings about some real subject matter which is really ruined by the adolescent manner in which they are presented. Saying that the first and last tracks as I mentioned earlier are actually pretty fantastic. 'Lost In The New Real' genuinely has some emotional content which is great but rather misleading (it was released as a preview track). It's almost as if the real album starts just as it finishes.

As an upside though the music itself is nice and I do like Arjen's voice (usually wanting more on his Ayreon records). But sadly you can't remove the lyrics (maybe in the new real).

So besides those two bookend tracks I don't think you're missing anything if you don't purchase this album. The 2nd disc offers some covers and originals but I haven't really found anything of interest on there yet either. If you want to know why I gave it 3 star it's simply because you can't really HATE this album. It's like a kid making some embarrassing comments on the bus: the kid doesn't know better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2012
If you are a fan of high quality music, songs that you would listen over and over again. If you like progressive rock and science fiction, you should not miss this one. Excellent work and art.
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on 27 February 2013
It's always amazing to see how Arjen comes up with these stories. He sure knows how to add music to it too. Although this is more likely to put under the Ayreon flag, I like what he has done with this. He admits he's not a real singer, but that is no issue here. You've done well "lange wapper". I recommend this to the dystopian fans. I would like to add the idea to Arjen to come up with a Star One concept CD about Prometheus. You know, Ridley Scott's awesome movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2012
this is so good . great story its prog but with a h ugh twist of elo from early 1990s.artwork and album value for money
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