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Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene 7-13 CD (album) cover

OXYGENE 7-13

Jean-Michel Jarre

 

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3.52 | 47 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The gas man returns

Mike Oldfield has over the years successfully exploited the "Tubular Bells" brand through the release of a number of similarly named albums (TB2, The Millennium bell etc.). Here, Jean Michel Jarre attempts to piggy back on the success of his best known work through the creation of this belated follow up. With over 20 years between the two releases, technology has moved on immeasurably in the intervening period; it is therefore perhaps surprising how similar the two albums sound. By and large, the tracks on this album could easily have come from the original Oxygene album, the only really noticeable difference being the crystal clear quality of the production.

The opening "Oxygene 7" (the tracks have exciting titles ranging from "Oxygene 7 to, yes that's right "Oxygene 13"!) is a three part suite running to over 11 minutes. It has the same basic rhythm as "Oxygene part 4", thus offering the familiar feel of a comfortable pair of slippers. The latter part of the track sees the rhythm yielding to washes of synth and sundry spacey sounds.

There after we have a succession of 4-5 minute tracks which are sufficiently like those on the original album to justify the shared name, while simultaneously avoiding simply being re-recordings. Some parts work better than others. Part 9 for example has a tendency to come across as clumsy and unfocussed.

The latter part of the album, especially part 11, has distinct similarities with "Rubycon" era Tangerine Dream, although the themes are not developed as fully as the Tangs would do, and the overall sound is kept strictly accessible.

Those who enjoy the original "Oxygene" will be guaranteed to enjoy this album, the similarities are far greater than the differences. The irony is that whereas the original "Oxygene" was pioneering and new, the intervening years mean that this album is retrospective and sounds rather dated.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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