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Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygène CD (album) cover


Jean-Michel Jarre


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3.90 | 317 ratings

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5 stars This was always one of my favorite pieces of music. It is not a large work, but is a spectacular one. Also, despite all it's popularity and general aproval, I think that not many people understand it completely. I don't think that Vangelis, TD and others deserve more credit than Jarre actually, and I don't think that they are "more serious" musicians than Jarre. It's just that Jarre's music is very deceptive, because it can sound cheep to those who don't COMPLETELY understand it. I think that Jarre is harder to fully apreciate than other famous authors, similar as Mozart (I am not comparing him with MOzart, mind you) can sound childish if not understood properly. Essential qualities of Jarre's music are pretty sublime and seem to be less obvious than of other artists with whom he is compared. I admit am a bit irritated with number of posts that I see around that try to relegate Jarre in a league below Vangelis, Shultze etc. Never felt that way realy; Oxygene is one of the very best electronica ever recorded, much more essential in my opinion than, say, Albedo from Vangelis.

Oxygene is actually one of the most unbelievable, magical stuff written in the past several decades. The absolute higlight of the album is the opening, the first several minutes. The rest of Oxygene 1 and Oxygene 2 are also strong, and there are good vibes through the rest of the record, although weak places also. But even in those moments you will apreciate how little a poser and how much honest Jarre is - always concentrates on what he realy has to say, never tries something that he is not...This is a VERY rare quality among instrumental writters. Another twist is that Oxygene is strongly influenced by classical music, much more directly than at the place of rockist TD or somewhat sentimental and undisciplined Vangelis. Jarre is rigid and very systematic; structure is the key word of his music. Then, Oxygene is actually more natural than original. But it is this naturalness that is real geniality, and it is naturalness that differes Jarre from so many pretentious authors. Same as natural death is much more rare than weird, "complicated" death, sheer elemental power of Oxygene is far more precious than "progressive", "musicaly superior" experiments of many a composer. And finaly, and not less important, I would notice that Jarre is extremely friendly oriented towards listener. He could make Oxygene much longer, there is enough basic ideas for that. But Oxygene is left very "accesible", and I appreciate this much more than boring audiences with self-indulgent over-writting.

Because of all of this, I think that Oxygene is not over-rated, but under-rated by most music-writters. I think it will not be less, but only more appriciated in the future. It is not "a masterpiece" or "a great work" - but neither are the works of Vangelis or TD. But what Oxygene is - and more so then the other electronic authors at my opinion - it is a very noble, seminal work that shows the way for the future of instrumental music. Better than anything ever recorded on a synthesizer.

P.S. It has been suggested that any half-decent ambient Dj could knock out a record like Oxygene whenever he wants nowadays. This is so utterly misguided... Oxygene is a precious piece that will take a genius with a big G to surpass, in many aspects. Same goes for a few more albums from Jarre...

| 5/5 |


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