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Tangerine Dream - Jeanne D´Arc - La Révolte Éternelle CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic

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4 stars The quality of TD albums has been a roller coaster ride of late with highs like "DM 4" and lows like "Purgatorio", so when "Jeanne D'Arc" arrived I didn't really know what to expect. And the album certainly doesn't have an auspicious beginning with the first track,"La Vision" being rather bland and anonymous and new age-ish and at 12 minutes it also goes on for a while which in this case is not an endearing factor and I thought that this would be another mediocre "Purgatorio" effort and resigned myself to disappointment,but as "La Vision" segues into "La Joie" my eyebrows were raised in surprise (literally!) when an atmospheric synth theme emerged out of the droning electronic haze and Linda Spa's saxophone kicks in,lifting the music to heights of quite stunning beauty. I thought if they could keep this up "Jeanne D'Arc" could be a winner after all and I'm thrilled to say that despite the limp opening,they do manage to maintain the standard of "La Joie" for the remainder of the album which is quite a feat considering it's 79 minutes long. With the third track,"La Force Du Courage" a mild dance beat is introduced and is kept up for large parts of the rest of the tracks giving the album a mild and rather infectious groove,effectively dispelling the dire new age feel of "La Vision". With Linda Spa back on sax and flute I was rather apprehensive about "Jeanne D'Arc" since especially har sax parts had in the first part of the 90's made TD rather an ordeal to listen to with subtelty not exactly to the fore! But the guys have obviously learned a trick or two over the decade since miss Spa last graced a TD album about how to integrate saxophone into the TD sound and the effort this time is seamless and her sax lends TD's music just the right amount of an extra dimensional factor,enhancing it rather than destroying it. The most stupendeous news this time around is of course that for the first time in 15 years TD have a third "proper" member again rather than just the hired hands they have used since Paul Haslinger left in 91. He is Thorsten Quaeschning on keyboards and drums and he's also composed the whole album with Edgar and Jerome and judging from the contribution on this album he is an excellent addition to the TD line up and I'm looking forward to hearing what the future holds for TD now that they are a trio again. As a summation I will say that I haven't been this excited about a TD album since "The Seven Letters From Tibet" and that with time "Jeanne D'Arc" might eclipse even that jewel in my TD collection. "Jeanne D'Arc" is an album full of beauty,atmosphere,moods and that very special otherworldiness that is a TD trademark. The bland and anemic opening holds back the 5th star but that's nitpicking really since the remainder of the album reaches heights I frankly never thought TD would ever reach again. This should teach me to never lose faith in Edgar Froese's musical vision which still burns as brightly as ever.
Report this review (#69367)
Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Since I am not overwhelmed by "Remixes" or "Dante" trilogy, I could only put all my faith in this new studio recording. The concept per se is good: to recreate the life of the symbolic (for French people) Joan Of Arc.

Nice theme which is full of promises. But the remark I have already made about instrumental concept albums do remain valid for this one as well: one can hardly figure any correlation between the facts and the music.

Purely ambient (but very pleasant), the long opening number might render the idea of "The Vision" during which she "saw" a part of her future life in the course of the history from France. "La Joie" conveys the same peaceful mood and is very joyful indeed during the closing part which features some good sax play (although not very genuine to TD).

I also believe that more important events of her life could have been depicted (the siege of Orléans, the crowning of Charles VII in Reims, her trial etc.). Anyway, since it is an all instrumental work, one could have had these titles without understanding a lot more to be honest.

Sax is very present during "La Force Du Courage" and I can understand some TD purists (hi Rico) who feel somewhat left down even though this passage is well played. But again, I have never been a devoted sax fan within TD 's great music.

To try and explain that the piano section of "La Solitude De L' Espoir" represents "loneliness" and the more upbeat one "hope" is pure speculation. But it is the same feeling (or lack of) for each number. One could have expected a more pompous or bombastic approach for "La Marche", but some classical and new age sound is filling your ears. No big deal ("Sagesse Du Destin" is quite of the same as well even if its closing part is quite moving).

Only two short songs on this lengthy album (almost eighty minutes), which is another minor point. Fifty could have condensed the essence of this work and be more accessible as a whole. I will never understand why artists feel necessary to fill the full CD capacity. But TD are not the only ones...

This album is not a bad one: once one has admitted that the great TD years are behind and that it is quite unlikely that the band will sign more masterpieces in the future the disappointment is of a lesser extent even if there are hardly no brilliant passages, beautiful soundscapes and memorable beauty during this "Jeanne D' Arc".

Three stars.

Report this review (#246888)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink

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