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Jean-Michel Jarre - Rendez-Vous CD (album) cover


Jean-Michel Jarre


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3.47 | 131 ratings

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4 stars After the funk and fun of 'Zoolook', JEAN-MICHEL JARRE strips the sould of his music right back to the bone. Virtually everything here is pads, save the occasional rudimentary drum machine, with an effect similar to an orchestra comprised entirely of the string section. It's very thin sounding compared to the riches of the previous album.

That said, 'Second Rendez-vous' is one of the greatest compositions of this or any age. It really has the feel of the first or fourth movement of a post-Beethoven symphony. Something I could imagine DVORAK having written. Stripping the supporting instruments away certainly lets this masterful tune stand out. I can only wonder, however, what it might sound like with a more sympathetic arrangement - some of the synth strings replaced by MAHLER-esque choirs, for example. When voices finally appear in part 4, it's too late - but beautiful all the same.

Had JARRE been born two hundred years ago, I have no doubt he would have become one of the great classical composers.

if the rest of the album had been up to this standard, it would be a masterpiece of any genre, and hang the arrangements. Sadly, this is not the case, though the remainder is pleasant enough. 'Ron's Piece' is redolent with tragedy, of course, but I can't listen to it without the image of the twisting columns of smoke and the bemused faces of relatives smearing themselves across my mind's eye.

A note. This is not new-age music. People persist in labelling any extended instrumental composition as 'new age', but don't let that (usually perjorative) label put you off. This album is classical music using synthesisers.

An essential eleven minutes for those of you who love classical symphonic music, or who enjoy a good tune.

russellk | 4/5 |


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