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Jan Hammer -  Escape from Television CD (album) cover

ESCAPE FROM TELEVISION

Jan Hammer

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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js (Easy Money)
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3 stars There are a lot of things working against this album before it even gets out of the gate; the music on here was made in the 80s, a lot of 80s sounding early digital keyboards were used in it's making and the songs on this album were created to serve as background music for some cheezy 80s TV shows. The big suprise is that this album sounds pretty good, especially if you take it for what it is; background music.

This isn't a true soundtrack album, instead what we have on here are twelve seperate semi-pop instumental songs that contain great original sounding, and often melancholy, melodies wrapped up in excellent innovative arrangements. Usually 80s keyboards are annoying, but occaisonally they seem to fit 80s music better than classic 70s analog keyboards would. For instance, some of the better 80s Genesis songs have unique keyboard parts that actually fit the song better because Banks is using the thinner more plastic sounds of that era. It is all part of a weird principal in which if something that is usually bad works, than it works better than something that is usually good.

Not all of the songs on here are pop oriented, some get into world music territory and others sound like prog-rock lite, sometimes even sounding like an easy listening version of Hammer's old Mahavishnu Orchestra. This album is not for everyone, but there are some listening groups that might like this kind of odd instrumental album. First, it's possible that people who like slightly progressive 80s pop rock groups such as Genesis, Asia or Toto might like this album. Also, people who like lite-rock groups who play lite- classical pieces, for instance groups like Sky or Mannheim Steamroller. Finally, people who like that unique style where instrumental progressive rock meets exotic lounge music, ie Manzenera's Primitive Guitars, Bo Hanson's Lord of the Rings or Fripp and Summer's Bewitched, might be able to dig this album.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#176002)
Posted Thursday, July 03, 2008 | Review Permalink

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