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Tangerine Dream - Underwater Sunlight CD (album) cover

UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.79 | 174 ratings

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Modrigue
Prog Reviewer
3 stars TANGERINE DREAM turns new-age...

3.5 stars

... and it will never be the same again. After Johannes Schmoelling's departure last year, "Underwater Sunlight" is the first album featuring the young Paul Haslinger. Although entirely composed by Froese and Franke, this record marks a clear rupture with their previous albums. Much more melodic and rock-oriented, with cristalline and artificial 80's sonorities, the music has adopted the new-age fashion. The title suggests an aquatic ecological concept album. Is this the case? Let's see.

"Song Of The Whale" is TD's last long studio epic. This track the main interest of the record and a pleasant submarine musical piece. Part 1 displays a soothing ambiance with its delicate sequence and Gilmour-ian guitar play. Part 2 has a soft piano intro and a cool guitar solo. Comforting music.

"Dolphin Dance" is the poppy moment of the album. A nice energic little tune. "Ride On The Ray" is a calm and enjoyable pleasant new-age track, prefiguring the style of their next future albums (without the guitar however). Unfortunately, the last two tracks are less inspired. "Scuba Scuba" is clearly a filler. Repetitive and with no real direction, it sometimes sounds a bit messy. The ending track, "Underwater Twilight", is atmospheric and rather average.

Album title, tracks names, music, cover: everything is coherent, the submarine theme is respected. More progressive and homogeneous than its predecessor, and despite weaker passages, "Underwater Sunlight" is enjoyable, relaxing and possesses its own identity. The cheesiness of some passages and the dated sonorities are counterbalanced by the guitar soli. Overall, the ambiance is warmer and softer than on the Schmoelling-era. Many early fans will dislike this record, but it may attract new fans.

The best TANGERINE DREAM studio album of the late 80's, and their only convincing incursion into the new-age genre. However, "Underwater Sunlight" is also their last correct opus before a very very long time...

Modrigue | 3/5 |

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