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Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 487 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The never-ending saga that is Tangerine Dream's long-running career has thrown up some peculiar stylistic phases during the last forty years, none more so than the group's late- seventies attempt to marry their classic electronic sound with the complex intricacies of progressive rock. The albums 'Cyclone', 'Force Majeure' and 'Tangram' threw up some interesting musical quirks, as, rather late in the day it must be said, the group's founder, leader and all-round head-honcho Edgar Froese looked towards the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes for new ideas. One of these 'new' ideas included having British multi-instrumentalist Steve Jolliffe(ex-Steamhammer)return to the Tangerine Dream fold for a second time and add his distinctively creepy vocals to the opening track of 'Force Majeure' predecessor 'Cyclone', a musical decision that split both the fans and critics alike. Unsurprisingly, Jolliffe is not present on 'Force Majeure'. Instead, drummer Klaus Krieger and keyboardist Christopher Franke are the ones charged with helping out the group's founder, leader, and all-round head-honcho Edgar Froese, as the Tangerine Dream sound started to edge back towards the group's classic mid-seventies sound, albeit with a strong prog influence still evident. The tracks on 'Force Majeure' - all three of them - feature a genuine war-chest of musical hardware, with guitars - both steel and acoustic - mandolins, bongo's and sequencers lining up alongside the drums, banks of keyboards and hi-tech synthesizers, creating a huge, warm sound that positively coats the listener in a thick glaze of dreamy, cosmic melodies. Neither Krautrock but not quite prog either, 'Force Majeure' is a true stepping-stone album, bridging the gap between psych-fused, cosmic-space-rock-prog sound the group pioneered in the late-sixties and early-seventies and the more commercially-orientated, pop-electronica style of the 1980's. The late-seventies would mark a fertile and prolific period of creativity for Tangerine Dream, of which 'Force Majeure' falls slap-bang in the middle of. The albums on either side of this 1977 release, the previously-mentioned 'Cyclone' and the moody, trippy 'Tangram' count as some of the most expansive and progressive recordings the group made, whilst the early- 1980's output would also feature elements of these albums woven in to their highly- electronic fabric, with even elements of the band's psychedelic late-sixties origins creeping into 1983's 'Hyperborea'. Many Tangerine Dream fans will argue that the bands true golden phase was between 1969 and 1974, and, more specifically, the albums 'Electronic Meditation', 'Alpha Centauri', 'Zeit' and 'Atem', and there is no doubting the innovative scope, power and creativity of those albums. However, when Edgar Froese and co finally started playing with actual melodies is when the real Tangerine Dream sound would evolve. The group's trademark slowly-unfurling electronics rhythms, twittering keyboards and lush synthesizers would adorn a series of albums from 1975 onwards, with 'Force Majeure' the most ornate and satisfying of the lot. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
stefro | 5/5 |


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