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Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 487 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars It was time for Tangerine Dream to move into the 80's and this album marks the start of that transition. The music continues it's melodic sound that was on the previous album, but without vocals this time. The main players of the band is down to two keyboardists, which is to be expected from an electronic band. But real drums, acoustic guitar, piano, cello and a few other surprises await us on this album.

It starts out with an 18 minute, side-long title track. Starting out with some nice atmospheric sounds and a pretty typical TD sound, things seem to be in good order. Then the rhythm kicks in. Many TD fans are okay with this, and at the time, this was a good move, but now in 2018, the keyboards sound very dated against the background of the band. At least that is how I feel it. The rhythm lasts for a while with the keyboards and a couple of breaks, but remaining somewhat unchanging except for a few times. When the rhythm eventually stops, things get atmospheric again and the dated sound goes away. The music gets quite pleasant here and doesn't seem old anymore. Again this lasts for a while, the drums join in again but with a different melody and atmosphere, but unfortunately, every time the drums start, things start to sound dated again. Now, a dated sound doesn't necessarily ruin things for me because I do love hearing a little Kraftwerk every once in a while and maybe even an old 80s band if I'm in the mood, but I can't seem to get into this as much as other TD albums. It sounds somewhat weak to me.

The 2nd side of the album starts with a 7 minute song called "Cloudburst Flight". A nice acoustic guitar and swirling keyboards sounds really nice and pensive. Keyboard bass starts to throb in the background, then turns into a repeating descending pattern while keyboards and electric guitars trade places with the melodic line and drums take on a midtempo pattern which is not overbearing. This is a much better combination than the title track when the rhythm section joins in. The soloing becomes quite impressive and heavy, which I find very enjoyable. Before the end, things calm down again and a nice whistle-sounding synth takes over. Really good especially for a comparatively short track.

The 3rd track is over 10 minutes long and is called "Thru Metamorphic Rocks". It starts off soft with piano and then increases in sound and intensity. Drums come in early on in the build and drive it forward and there are some nice sound effects crashing around. Soon the electric guitar takes over with another impressive solo. The chord progression becomes repetitive however for a while. Then the main melodic motif fades out while it is taken over by the synthesized sounds that I love TD for. This to me, is the best part of the album and more of what I would expect to hear from an electronic album. A rapid progression of notes continue in the background and establish a rhythm as synths improvise over the top with heavy sounds and no melody.

Overall, this is not a bad album, but I do have problems in the title track where things are dated and just too commercial for my taste. About half of that track is like that at different times throughout. The other two supporting tracks are more interesting to me and give the album it's saving grace. This is TD in it's progressive stage, but there are a few places where it all ruins it for me. Overall, I have to rate this at about 3.5, but the repetitiveness of the drums and bass patterns knock it down to a 3.

TCat | 3/5 |


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