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Tangerine Dream - Stratosfear CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

3.94 | 506 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Not quite the fitting title.

Tangerine Dream is an artist I've been smitten with in recent times; somehow their semi-abstract electronic spacey compositions have been very appealing to my tastes, and STRATOSFEAR is actually no exception. Unlike the unified connectedness of RUBYCON, this album sees TD take a more individual track orientation as nothing extends beyond twelve minutes here. There are very scant traces of New Age beginning to infect the sound of the group, but not enough to detract from the experimental nature of what they're doing.

STRATOSFEAR might be the album I might send newcomers of the band towards simply because it is more melodic than previous efforts (at least the ones I've heard) and less experimental. Less risk, possible high reward. The title track is an instant electronic classic as it is non-stop electronic symphonic bliss for eight minutes with various tie-in melodies and a suspenseful climax with the only slight downside of sitting through a few minutes of delayed calm at the end. The same bliss can be found within the middle third of ''Invisible Limits''; other than a false crescendo, most of the rest of the track is just padding.

The padding on the longer tracks doesn't truly interfere with the main themes, but the stuff at the end of both ''epics'' isn't worth enduring at the tail-end of something extraordinary which is unlike RUBYCON where that last haunting voice kept my grip until the disc stopped. The ''Hades'' track isn't all too terrible, but results in little more than fluff. The ''Okeefenokee'' track is almost a padding nightmare that, other than a couple of harmonica instances, is largely forgettable.

STRATOSFEAR might be a more accessible album from Tangerine Dream and might ease some of the more symphonic progsters into their world of spacey synth thematics. That being said, compared to the artistic triumphs that were PHAEDRA and RUBYCON, STRATOSFEAR is a step down from those particular pedestals. It is more instantaneous than other TD albums I've heard, but it's slightly clumsy as a whole.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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