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Tangerine Dream - Mars Polaris CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.18 | 48 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The best TANGERINE DREAM album of the 90's

3.5 stars

Finally, after 13 years of errance, a decent studio release by the german electronic band! At the end of nineties, Froese and son manages to get rid of their insipid new-age inspirations. "Mars Polaris" offers what you would expect to hear from the band during this decade: the spirit is here, on par with its time. The compositions are more structured, more inspired and the sound has (finally) been modernized. This opus also marks the return of the "long" pieces: four tracks have a duration of 10 minutes. Although mainly electronic, the record contains some guitar incursions. The music is an imaginary soundtrack of the flight of the "Mars Polar Lander" capsule. Once said, is the theme respected?

The first part of the album contains some of the best TD tunes since a long time. The opening "Comet's Figure Head" is very good, an immediate boarding for space, with musical changes and rythm variations. "Rim Of Schiaparelli" is more mysterious and features a cool melody. As its title suggest, "Pilots Of The Ether Belt" is a suitable soundtrack to navigate during a spatial trip. The finale is just dreamy. Unfortunately, the remaining tracks are a bit unequal.

The aerial "Deep Space Cruiser" is rather flat, while "Outland (The Colony)" is average with its techno beat. "Spiral Star Date (Level P)" is a nice tune for space adventure and exploration. The transparent "Mars Mission Counter" is repetitive and not varied enough. On the contrary, "Astrophobia" and its energic big beat respects its name by displaying both oppressive and spacey soundscapes. "Tharsis Maneuver" shows great promises with a typical TD sequence, but does not feature many changes after. The ending track, "Dies artis (Transmercury)" seems out of place with its sleepy new age approach.

Although containing weaker passages, "Mars Polaris" is a unexpected good surprise for TANGERINE DREAM fans. The spatial theme is respected, the ambiance is present, the compositions are rather inspired and the sound is modern. Everything is coherent. Forget their other 90's studio albums, this one is the best of this decade. You're about to board for the red planet...

NOTE: If you want to acquire "Mars Polaris", you must be careful and look for this 1999 CD edition, subtitled "Deep space highway to red rocks pavilion", with these 10 tracks names. There is another 1999 edition, subtitled "Original motion picture space reality", with 11 tracks. This second version is incorrect, as it mixes compositions from "Mars Polaris" and "Great Wall of China", a TD soundtrack. Furthermore, the 2006 reedition is based on this faulty alternate version. So be sure to check the cover, the year and the tracklist.

Modrigue | 3/5 |


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