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Vangelis - See You Later CD (album) cover




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2.57 | 94 ratings

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2 stars "See You Later" is a Vangelis album that comes along right when Vangelis was in the middle of several different projects which included the soundtrack to "Chariots of Fire" and the beginning of his series of albums with Jon Anderson (known as "Jon & Vangelis"). This album moves away from his usual style and focuses on tracks with lyrics, vocalizations and narratives in both Italian and French. We hear Vangelis experimenting with some interesting styles and instrumental sounds on this album, and the main style of the album seems to suffer from the lack of melodic passages and ends up sounding more clinical than anything. In my opinion, this is one of Vangelis' weakest albums because of this. At least his more avant-style albums were interesting. This one is just not very consistent and tends to wander between styles a bit too much for it's own good. In other words, there just isn't a lot of focus here. Even the tracks where Jon Anderson helps out are weak and uninteresting.

I Can't Take it Anymore - Vocal effects by Peter Marsh and a vocoder, and some dark undertones with nice percussion. The melody is a bit slight and uninteresting though, and lyrics are just a repeat of the title and some wordless sounds from a synth chorus. You can tell Vangelis was experimenting with his style making this dark, moody track.

Multi-track Suggestion - More manipulated vocals from Marsh and a consistent beat makes this one sound like something more from Kraftwerk than it does Vangelis. Even the synth hooks have that robotic style. There are some spoken word vocals that give a feeling of PA announcements. Again, there's not much in the way of melody or any real high points anywhere on this track.

Memories of Green - This is the original version of a track that would later be used for the "Blade Runner" soundtrack. A flanger pedal creates a very cool, warped effect manipulating sounds from a Steinway grand piano. This one is quite minimal, yet quite beautiful, and as such, is probably the best track on the album. The little synth effects that swirl around at will give it all a neat atmosphere.

Not a Bit-All of It - The shortest track on the album, thank goodness. Cherry Vanilla provides the vocals supplemented by some vocalese provided by Vangelis himself. The track starts with a violin passage, which is provided by guest Michel Ripoche. The music is quite Musak sounding with the lyrics being spoken work, which has a very sarcastic feel to it as it satirizes commercialism and consumerism. Sort of funny the first time around, but annoying everytime after that.

The 2nd side of the album consists of two longer tracks, both of them featuring Jon Anderson doing vocals.

Suffocation - This 9 minute track has two main sections. The first part has a solid beat and synths playing a warbly melody. After a few minutes, the beat fades off as the synths continue and some Italian announcements over a megaphone sound out. The beat returns again, a bit more solid this time with the melody more pronounced and a fuller background. Not bad, but it really doesn't develop into much. Some tricky drum machine percussion ends this section and a slower, more pensive section starts. Soon Anderson's vocals finally come in. As is the case with this album, the lyrics are quite slight. Soon, this all drops off as a more minimal section comes in with the members of "Krisma" read an Italian narrative. All together, it's quite a big letdown.

See You Later - As with the last track, this one has multiple sections and exceeds the 10 minute mark. The first part of the track features the electric piano. The beginning is soft and quiet, but it builds as a little synth action comes in, then the tempo picks up with a synth loop that sounds like something that would be used in "Chariots of Fire". A male chorus give some spoken word commands that sounds like a language lesson of some sort. After this, a French spoken word section comes in over the synth atmospherics and off-beat percussion. Things try to be progressive here, but it ends up sounding more disjointed than anything. There is a bit of a jazzy section, then the percussion drops out as a child sings "Lalalala" and speaks in French. The male chorus comes in again with some dramatic, but repetitive singing, then everything drops off except for some minimal synth. Some processed vocalizations come in and some meandering around with the synth as the music builds and brings Anderson's vocals in for the last part of the track.

Fortunately, the other albums that would come out in the next few years wouldn't follow in this one's footsteps as it would include some of his most famous and important work. This one was not released in North America for several years, and it never really has come across as an important album. It didn't help that it was overshadowed by "Chariots of Fire" and the Jon & Vangelis albums. But then, it never really deserved to stand out that much anyway. This album is best left to the completists and is not really a typical sounding Vangelis album, so newcomers should stay away.

TCat | 2/5 |


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