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Tangerine Dream - Exit CD (album) cover

EXIT

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

3.48 | 233 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Underrated for far too long, the 1981 album 'Exit' was the 14th studio album from Tangerine Dream in a little over 12 years, and came at a time when when the group were becoming involved with Hollywood. One of two albums issued that year, 'Exit' proved popular enough amongst fans but was somewhat overshadowed by the soundtrack album to Michael Mann's existential crime thriller 'Thief', which effectively kick-started the German outfit's Hollywood career after a four-year break from soundtrack work. Pre-'Exit', the group's one-and-only soundtrack album had been for William Friedkin's costly adventure film 'Sorceror', and although reviews for the album had been mostly positive, the film itself proved something of a disaster, costing round twenty million dollars to produce, drawing strong criticism and subsequently tanking at the box-office. The failure of 'Sorceror' virtually ruined the career of director Friedkin, who had previously enjoyed huge critical-and-commercial success with both 'The French Connection' and 'The Exorcist', and, for a while, also seemed to blow TD's chances of furthering their Hollywood ambitions. The release of 'Thief', however, proved something of a watershed moment, and TD spent much of the 1980's producing a number of soundtrack albums, with 'Thief' followed by the likes of 'The Keep', 'Firestarter', 'Miracle Mile' and 'Near Dark'. Although originally conceived as a studio album, 'Exit' would also hit the silver screen, when, much to the group's surprise, writer-director Paul Brickman included several of the album's tracks in his 1983 film 'Risky Business'. A slick consumerist satire posing as a commercial teen-flick, 'Risky Business' featured a young Tom Cruise, was a sizeable box-office hit, and proved perfect for the gleaming synthesizers and carefully-layered melodies of 'Exit'. Both the film and the music complimented each other nicely, and as a result the original album took on far more relevance. The key piece proved to be the atmospheric title-track, with it's throbbing bass pulses, rainy effects and rhythmic keyboard runs showcasing TD's rapid muscial evolution from 1970's psychedelia to full-blown electro- ambient rockers, whilst also proving perfect for the high-chic eighties look and crisply-shot photography of Brickman's glossy film. Elsewhere, 'Exit' is ideally framed by the churning repitition of the classic-era style 'Network 23', the slow-burning atmospherics of the glacial opener 'Kiew Mission', and 'Choronzon's' rapid percussion intro and stabbing keyboard melodies, all of which added yet more layers to the carefully-styled proto-futuristic sheen of the group's singular musica style. Constantly evolving, the music of TD has always relied on technology, and 'Exit' is filled with an array of technological tricks and effects. A sleek, powerful and carefully-crafted record, 'Exit' perhaps presents the last strains of TD's intial brilliance, before the changing trends of the 1980's, the wear-and-tear of a lengthy career and the group's dalliance with Hollywood took it's creative toll. For many original fans, the real Tangerine Dream faded away sometime around 1987 or 1988, and whilst the group will always be cherished for their earlier albums, this deeply-affecting album must surely rank as one of their last significant releases, and it's inclusion in the excellent 'Risky Business' only enhances it's many qualities. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2016
stefro | 4/5 |

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