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Tangerine Dream - Le Parc CD (album) cover

LE PARC

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

2.82 | 124 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This was my first Tangerine Dream album, even though it is number 26 in line of albums that had previously been released by TD. The album consists of 9 short tracks (short as compared to most of their previous work). The songs are all inspired by worldwide parks, which is really a great idea. However, sometimes this works well and at others it doesn't.

Now the album isn't a complete failure as some reviews here tend to signify. It just isn't the TD of the past. Understandably, TD tried to make their music appropriate for the decade it was produced, the 80s. So it takes on some faster beats, some slightly new wave-ish sounds and so on. But, surprisingly enough, it doesn't always sound as dated as you would expect.

The first track is "Bois de Boulogne" and it opens the album on a high note. It is a fast tempo song with nothing annoying about it and a very memorable hook. "Central Park" however, does sound somewhat dated to me and an almost techo-disco which you might expect here. "Gaudi Park" has a nice beat and bass line that runs rapidly through the song almost giving it a softcore industrial sound as synths flow around the running rhythm. This one is better. Fourth in line is "Tiergarten", which starts out soft with background noises of children playing and a nice electronic piano. A whistling synth and drums join in later. It is a pleasant song, not too annoying, but commercial and almost New Age sounding and very melodic. It's not a complete write off though. "Zen Garden" is a favorite of mine and reminiscent of older TD. It starts with wind and birds in the background and a hard percussive, but sustained "hit" in the synth bass which slowly drops it's tone as it is sustained and this repeats throughout. I love this sound and synths of all kinds play around this. No rhythm in this one. A female voice singing wordless vocals joins in also. Inspired by the sounds of Japanese music and very pensive and beautiful.

Next up comes the title track "Le Parc". It starts up the second side with a jet flying overhead and immediately a fast beat starts up and synths play around it. This one takes on the sound of European disco/techno, with a very stately melody. It is very commercial sounding, and a little dated, but it brings back memories of Kraftwerk from the same decade. "Hyde Park" begins with some strange clicking sounds. The thumping mid tempo bass starts and provides the basis for the song. Synths are melodic and there are some orchestral sounding "hits" and synth chord progressions throughout that are indicative of the decade, but it's not overly annoying. "The Cliffs of Sydney" actually breaks the 5 minute mark. This one is also European sounding with a throbbing mid tempo bass and then fluttering percussion around that. I like the sound of the main melody in that it sounds like guitar from the old Italian westerns. This rhythm stops halfway through and synths carry the action for a while before it starts up again with the same melody. "Yellowstone Park" is the highlight of the album at over 6 minutes. It starts out with pan flutes and a mysterious sustained orchestral sound before synths start joining in. A slow tribal rhythm begins and wordless vocals from the one of the same singers of "The Great Gig in the Sky" (Dark Side of the Moon). Pan Flutes start again and carry the main motif giving it a Native American sound. A nice, floating tune. You can picture the clouds over the high mountains, the rivers and lakes of the park with hawks and eagles soaring, a buffalo or two loitering near the water, and so on. Yes I've been there a lot of times, and the tune really fits the park.

So, overall , this is a very good TD release, better than what most have rated it at. No, it's not as good as earlier TD, but it holds a nostalgic spot for me because I purchased it when it was first released. I still own the record and love it for it's high points which is worth keeping it around. And it has very nice cover art. Do you have to have it? No, but I would recommend it for easy relaxing listening at least, especially for "Zen Garden", "The Cliffs of Sydney" and "Yellowstone Park". Good, not essential, 3 stars.

TCat | 3/5 |

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