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Tangerine Dream - Turn Of The Tides CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

2.73 | 66 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I probably fell into the same trap as a lot of other long-term Tangerine Dream fans after first hearing this 1994 effort, comparing it (unfavorably, of course) to such unqualified TD classics like "Phaedra", "Ricochet", and "Stratosfear". Maybe it was the anonymous sheen of all those new digital keyboards, or else the steady diet of generic dance-floor drum programs. But at first exposure the album sounded little better than boilerplate New Age movie soundtrack mush.

All right, so their musical strategy is more conventional than it was in the old days. But the band in the 1990s needs to be measured with a different yardstick. This is not your parent's Tangerine Dream anymore, and neither does it pretend to be. On its own merits the music itself is often gorgeous beyond description, sounding on some tracks ("Galley Slave's Horizon") not unlike the classic symphonic Prog of Andy Latimer and CAMEL: quite a radical departure from the counter-culture doodles of their early Krautrock days.

There's even (further shades of Golden Age Prog Rock) a concept of sorts behind it all. The album was composed around an obscure, allegorical narrative penned by the prime T. Dreamer Edgar Froese himself, apparently after one too many screening of a Wojciech Has movie (remember "The Saragossa Manuscript"?) The mood is set, oddly but effectively, by the "Promenade" from Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition": an unconscious nod, perhaps, to fellow synthesizer advocate Keith Emerson? This brief but luxurious version was arranged by TD debutante Linda Spa, with the sounds of a horse-drawn carriage on rain-swept cobblestones adding to the overall cinematic effect.

Spa's recruitment into the band still tends to confound the more chauvinistic corners of the Tangerine Dream fan base. But to these ears her graceful handling of the saxophone adds a welcome soft touch to a band historically obsessed with the latest electronic hardware. Likewise, a notable performance by guitarist Zlatko Perica brings the typically cosmic TD sound even closer to Earth, trading his sometimes overwrought pyrotechnics (see "220 Volt Live") for a more polished approach, often with an unexpected Spanish flair (as on the track "Firetongues").

Approach it with skepticism if you must, but don't dismiss the album without an impartial hearing. Too much good music can be irretrievably lost when doggedly kept at arm's length.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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