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Tangerine Dream - Optical Race CD (album) cover

OPTICAL RACE

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

2.55 | 68 ratings

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LaserDave
2 stars With the departure of Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Paul Haslinger searched for new musical horizons which they obviously cristalized on "Optical Race", released year after "Tyger". This albums marks a remarkable change in TD's music, much to the shock of some of their older fans. Many hate this album, but many also receive it with open arms. As a "progressive rock" album I give "Optical Race" two stars, as a regular TD release it could receive even three. After the first listening I was very disappointed. The music sounded "flat", it lacked the energy, creativity and power of their earlier releases, like "Tyger". But I gave it another chance, though I almost regretted I had bought it. With next listenings it really grew on me, I began to like it, though still approached the album with caution. Now, after ca 6 listenings I think I like it, however it will never be one of my favourites. TD has too many great albums, and comparing them with this 1988 outing, "Optical Race" is really somewhat weak. A strong "80s flavour" makes its way through the album, making it sound a bit outdated, not as many of its predecessors, even from the early 70s. Melodies are OK, but they are not gripping, and only after few listenings you can really pick up what's going on. "Mothers of Rain" is second to none the best cut here. Other very good tracks include "The Midnight Trail", "Sun Gate", "Cat Scan" and the title track, which sounds a bit "dancey", but at least has a distinctive melody, which makes it likeable. You may also enjoy the 8-minute long "Marakesh" and "Turning Off the Wheel", which begins clumsily but unfolds and then sounds OK. The worst track here is certainly "Twin Soul Tribe", which is a boring flop, while I'm still not sure whtether I like the rest of the tracks. Strange album indeed, confusing. Not creepy as, say "Rubycon", but upbeat and warm, also uptempo but you'll probably need time to like it. I always wanted to listen to "Optical Race" and I don't think I regret buying it after all. There's no link (I suppose) between this album and their more progressive 70s period, so those who enjoy "Phaedra", "Rubycon" and the like, may skip this one.
LaserDave | 2/5 |

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