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Tangerine Dream - Optical Race CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

2.62 | 101 ratings

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2 stars The year 1988 might well have been the peak for the new age genre, with the older baby boomers into their 40s and not wanting to be challenged more than by their workaholic bosses, stressed out spouses and lively offspring. If there was any justification for hitching TANGERINE DREAM to this label, it came in hitching them to the Private Music label, which specialized in mellow and inoffensive instrumental music. "Optical Race" delivers on both fronts, which is to say, it doesn't deliver at all.

Droning samey beats, likely programmed, unimaginative arrangements, minimal variety, and a smug unctuousness oozes from 2/3 of these grooves. Some tracks like "Mothers Of Rain ", "Sun Gate " and "The MIdnight Trail" sport buildups that promise an enthusiastic outburst but the ultimate delivery is shackled and disinterested. Others like the title cut and "Turning Off The Wheel" aren't even that good. In the end, the only completely satisfying cut is the opener "Marrakesh", thanks to an intriguing stratified structure and a series of melodic crescendoes. "Atlas Eyes" and "Cat Scan" are the only other true highlights in this disappointing release.

The only race here is from your chair to your turntable's cuing lever or the next button on the CD player. "Optical Race" is music for Lenscrafters.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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