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Tangerine Dream - Destination Berlin (OST) CD (album) cover

DESTINATION BERLIN (OST)

Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic


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3 stars "Destination Berlin" is by TD standards a piece of fluff,but very nice fluff. It's the soundtrack to a German movie I haven't seen and I am not likely to ever do so,but the music functions very well on it's own. This is not one of those soundtracks that desperately needs the accompanying movie to make any sense,it's stands well enough on it's own feet as a piece of music in it's own right. And what kind of music are we talking about here? Well,as I said,it is essentially a piece of fluff,not a substantial album by any sense of the word. This is TD in light pop music mode,all the tracks are jaunty,bouncy pieces of cheery pop music with not a heavy thought in sight. That is it's weakness some people have said,but I say it's it's strength. The whole album sounds so sunny and cheerful it always cheers me up and that's not the worst effect music can have on a listener. So much of TD's music is on the heavy and serious side,to the point of creeping a lot of people out actually,that it's nice to have a TD album that is the diametrical opposite. In fact,even though these tracks are throwaway pop music,TD have nevertheless created something quite special here. Happy,cheerful music is usually completely moronic,it seems intelligence in music is to be found almost exclusively within the serious realms,but "Destination Berlin" is that rarity of albums: Undeniably happy and undeniably cheerful,but not moronic. Even though this album doesn't even have a smidgen of the gravity of TD's best albums,they have nevertheless invested it with the same amount of intelligence as all their other albums,it's well played,well arranged and well thought out,its just not very deep. But that's allright now and then and when I have had all I can take of the serious side of music that dominates my cd collection and I want to take a musical breather,I put on "Destination Berlin" and it never fails to put a smile on my face. Not too bad an ambition for a piece of music I think.
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Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
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3 stars Not bad for a soundtrack. As almost all the TD works in the 80s, in particular the soundtracks, this album sounds very 80s for the sounds used and the rhythms. Again I'm keen to compare the actual TD music to what Pete Bardens was doing in the same period. Also the second part of "Alexander Square" sounds very similar to the early 80s CAMEL. Try to believe.

"Emperor's Castle" is more in line with the standard TD (of the 80s, of course). Melodic and a little repetitive. Let me say that for me "repetitive" is a good word when related to Tangerine Dream. This is a track on which the band is more recognisable by its fans, even if now it's just a duo.

"Hitchhikers Point" is just a good electro-pop track which could remind to Jean Michel Jarre if it wasn't for the square waves typical of Froese's sound. Just a bit too pop for my tastes, but in 1989 that was the standard.

"Brandeburg Gate" seems taken from Bardens' "Speed Of Light". Same sounds and the melancholic theme borderline with newage which may be appropriate if we think that 1989 is when the Brandeburg Gate has been made visible again to both the sides of the Berlin's wall.

The electronic rock and roll of "Wall Street" is I think the weakest track of the album. Between "The Friend of Mr Cairo" and "Flashdance" it's something that I may compare with the worst moments of CAMEL's "The Single Factor". Not VERY bad, but it really leaves me cold as most of the pop played by the radios in the 80s.

With "Peacock Island" we go back to what we can expect from a TD album of that period. The percussion are quite tribal, like on Camel's "Nude" whose concept was effectively about an island. In any case I think that this is where the hand of Edgar Froese is more in evidence. It's like a pop variation on Epsilon in Malaysian Pale. Probably it's the percussion that make ,me think so.

"Down The Avus" is another good instrumental which to me again sounds similar to CAMEL of the Breathless to Single Factor period.

"Midnight In Bear City" is still on the same line but on this the sounds are more typical of Tangerine Dream's music if we don't consider the guitar which reminds to the Genesis of the late 80s or even to Phil Collins' solo works.

"Berlin Summer Nights" is slow and very melodic. Being in Berlin I can't not think to "Stationary Traveller", even if this track is much more mellow than anything on that Camel's album.

The final two minutes with the reprise of Alexander Square were probably the end titles of the movie which by the way I haven't ever seen and of which I know nothing.

Good for easy listening and very far from being essential.

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Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012 | Review Permalink

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