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4 stars In 1978 TD moved briefly into the world of prog when they adopted a traditional rock line up for the album 'Cyclone'.However it wasn't a great success artistically so they 'dictched' the vocalist but kept the drummer for one more album.And this 1979 release was the result.The 20 minute title track is just awesome.Powerfull and majestic music that flows beautifully.'Cloudburst Flight' is equally impressive starting slowly but building to a satisfying climax.'Thru Metomorphic Rocks' rounds off the album and is not as strong as the other 2 peices but not bad all the same.

Report this review (#32516)
Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really. As Joliffe got the boot (probably from the pressure of the fans), he was replaced by a cellist and this brings another new life into TD. This album is IMHO the last good albums (I remembering listening to the next two as the got released but never bought them and recently I borrowed them from the library and did not think much of them) but what a great way to finish that fantastic decade. TD and Floyd were the only two rock groups endorsed by the Soviet Regime as both got described as Honest and constantly renewing artist (as opposed to those depraved groups preaching individualism , materialism and freedom). Not that those two groups ever got a cent of royalties of the bootlegs sold in the Soviet block but one was not going to the goulag to eat goulash for decades for owning one of their albums. Everyone of those eastern-european countries had plenty of underground groups in the 70's recording poor sounding Lps traded under the table , the majority of them could classified as prog , fair to say that TD and Floyd influenced more than one of them.
Report this review (#32517)
Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Of the few albums TD released during their brief symphonic prog era, this is by far the most accomplished: "Force Majeure" makes an impressive catalogue of inspired musical ideas, tight performances, and ambitious artistic splendour. Edgar Froese and Chris Franke work as a duo, assisted by drummer Klaus Krieger, and occasionally by cellist Eduard Meyer. The 18+ minute namesake suite is a well crafted succession of beautiful, captivating sections, which range from spacey intro and interludes to orchestrated passages with guitar solos and synth harmonies; there is even a folkish motif toward the end played on synths and electronic percussion, a bucolic piece wrapped under a Kraftwerk-like clothing. The melancholy synth layers that comes afterwards closes up this suite in an amazing manner. It would be certainly hard for the other two pieces to make the listener forget the impression left by it, and indeed, they can't go that far. Yet, they're still beautiful tracks. 'Cloudburst Flight' is something like Moon Madness-meets-Wish You Were Here, emphasizing the melodic aspect and not letting the expansions of the main theme stretch out too long: as a matter of fact, I wish it had been a bit longer, since the fade-out seems to come across too soon, right in the middle of an eerie synth solo. 'Thru' Metamorphic Rocks' is divided into two diverse parts, not fluidly intertwined as in the different successive sections of the 'Force Majeure' suite, but abruptly connected in a dramatic contrast. Part one is symphonic oriented, just like the preceding track, while part two is an aggressive, dense electronic tour-de-force, very much in the vein of what you usually come to expect from a TD recording - at times it reminds me of some of TD-alumnus Klaus Schulze solo work. The fact that there were engineering mistakes during the mixing process of this track actually works as a happy accident, since the contrast serves as an effective channel for musical tension. In conclusion, a very brilliant album that shows the duo Froese/Franke as perfectly capable of going on evolving artistically while the 80s were waiting just around the corner.
Report this review (#32518)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is almost as good as Tangram but for ' thru Metamorphic rocks', which is not quite up to the essential quality of the rest of the album. To me TD were really fizzing during this period and the ' Force majeure' title track filling side one of this 1979 release is definitely up there with Tangram, Phaedra and Ricochet in terms of highest standards. ' Cloudburst Flight' has some of the most simple and beautiful accoustic guitar beginning the song before all hell breaks loose. The cello contributions by Edgar Meyer also give Force Majeure a very very polished edge. Four and half stars is a fair rating.Dismiss at your peril!
Report this review (#32519)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars As it seems all the reviewers agreed upon giving this album 4*'s, I will not break the tradition. (Though I think that this is td's top effort) Just because the warning "not every album that you enjoy will be a perfect "masterpiece." " I agree with the above reviews, and have nothing to add (you may look at my review on cyclone to learn about my "precious" ideas!) This one is just like cyclone without vocals... (also another lost pink floyd album...) And one more remark: Because of TD's works in the 80's and 90's, it might be argued whether or not it is a prog group, but these first 15 something records (you might or might not like them) really deserve the place they hold here... This one is highly recommended to all prog-lovers (if you are a TD fan, you already know it!)
Report this review (#32520)
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What's that? You say that the planet is about to be destroyed to make way for an interstellar expressway, and I'm only allowed to bring ONE Tangerine Dream disc to Tralfamadore? Bummer.... Guess I'll have to learn to live without all my other TD CDs.... Do they have good pizza there?

If (perish the thought!) I were to be limited to a single recording from Tangerine Dream, FORCE MAJEURE would soon make the cut. Why does this 1979 release stand above its brethren in my esteem? Well, I've always been a big fan of band founder Edgar Froese's lead guitar work (indeed, when I saw the group live sometime in the early 90s, his axe-work was a definite highlight), and there is more guitar on FORCE MAJEURE than on most TD albums. Though guitar is not a mainstay of TD's synthesizer-dominated sound, it imparts a vital human element and extra level of interest when it appears, and Froese is a subtle master of the instrument. Add to the equation the inclusion of a living, breathing, adept drummer in Klaus Krieger, plus some of the strongest writing yet from Froese and Franke, and you have a truly superlative session from these stalwart psychedelic synth sorcerers.

Each of the disc's three tracks is quite strong. The opening title piece is the longest, and starts off in a scary fashion, yet never sticks to a single mood or theme for too long. "Force Majeure" is as brilliant, cinematic, and varied a suite as any in TD's accomplished oeuvre, and, frankly, my all-time favourite composition from the band. There are sections of impressive power via soaring lead, contrasted with others of uplifting splendor, all woven together in a splendid whole. Krieger's drums are a particularly welcome and effective addition here.

The second and shortest track, "Cloudburst Flight," is also a winner. This one features a lovely, sensitive acoustic guitar opening section, that melds into a tour de force of driving synths, drums, and almost frantic lead, before ending on a very peaceful and evocatively beautiful note. The music well suits the title -- one can easily imagine a sudden, powerful storm that vents its fury upon a summer day, before it rolls away to leave the earth refreshed, and the air clear and clean. Brilliant!

The final number, "Through Metamorphic Rocks," is another longer suite, and pure vintage TD that delves through varied moods and soundscapes. There is more great lead guitar and drums, in a majestic opening section that segues into real horror soundtrack territory, replete with a synthesized night-black, hell-bound train, a gibbering madman (demon?), and howling wolves -- or could that be the baying of Cerberus? (I had this one playing last Halloween night -- shudder!)

FORCE MAJEURE is a terrific Tangerine Dream album, and quite simply their best, for my money. The material is superb, and the inclusion of drums and generous amounts of Froese's guitar makes this perhaps the most accessible TD disc for "mainstream" prog fans. A masterpiece of psychedelic progressive rock, without question -- highly recommended, indeed! On to Tralfamadore!

Report this review (#32522)
Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With the previous album Cyclone, Force Majeure is the most progressive Tangerine Dream album: many hard rock guitar solos, acoustic guitars, drums and cello. When you think about it, it is very weird for a band like that to have drums! But it works very well. They are only 2 keyboardists: Edgar Froese and Chris Franke. The album has many intense floating keyboards, very melodic ones and finally there are excellent melodic sequencers. Globally, it sounds a bit like Jean Michel Jarre (Oxygene, Equinoxe). It has some strange and psychedelic parts. The numerous melodic parts are really catchy and addictive, and they were, AGAIN, the official music of TV News here in Quebec, in the early 80's. Apparently, there is something in the track "Through metamorphic rocks" that corresponds to the odd sound of equipment during a happened failure. Force Majeure really prepares Tangerine Dream to their new modern sound of the first half of the 80's, started with the next album Tangram.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Report this review (#32524)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars In case of disaster, save this one

What's that you say now? Prog Archives much esteemed and respected reviewer Peter R. has heard that a galactic disaster involving our planet is nigh. What's more, he recommends not only that we ensure that a Tangerine Dream album is safely on board our escape craft, but that "Force Majeure" should be the chosen album. Surely the advance party of aliens have got to our man and bumped him on the head? But wait, what are those magical tones I hear? Great Gonzos, I do think he's might be right!

My experiences of the music of Tangerine Dream are largely based on the synthesiser dominated albums "Encore", "Rubycon" and "Phaedra". Those albums have led me to believed that the Tangs make pleasant but undemanding ambient waves of sound. "Force Majeure" however shows the band in something of a different light.

The main difference (as I see it at least) is the magnificent guitar work. The band had shown themselves willing to experiment, and adapt their style on their previous album. The use of vocalist Steve Jolliffe on "Cyclone" was however by all accounts misguided, and he parted company with Edgar Froese and Christopher Franke thereafter. "Force Majeure" therefore reverts to being entirely instrumental, the line up being completed by Edgar Mayer on cello, and drummer Klaus Kruger.

The album consist of just three tracks, the opening title track occupying the whole of the first side of the original LP. It opens in typical TD fashion, with moody, ambient sounds before a distinct melody is picked out on piano. Lead guitar then assumes responsibility for the main theme, which develops through some wonderful passages to form some truly classic symphonic prog rock. The various sections of the track are linked by more ambient passages, but in all this is an extremely tight and focused performance by the band. Towards the end, the track even veers close to JM Jarre style synthesiser pop.

"Cloudburst Flight" is possibly even tighter, with more excellent guitar work on top of a keyboards base. The track is wonderfully compact, saying in 7 minutes what the Tangs would normally stretch out to around 20.

The final track, "Thru Metamorphic rocks" is a bit more traditional in TD terms. After the almost psychedelic liquid guitar sounds, synthesisers take over for an ambient, trance like section with howling wolf sound effects. This part is over long and repetitive, thus rather detracting from an otherwise excellent album.

Whether or not that intergalactic expressway ever gets built, (I understand the application for permission has as usual been lost be a planning department in the UK), a copy of "Force Majeure" should indeed be listed on the manifests of all escape craft, and brought out at regular intervals for checking.

Report this review (#32525)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Froese and Franke delivered a superb album. Lots of rhythms and melodies make this album a much easier listen than their early "pink period" stuff, with enough present guitars and drums so to appeal to more rock-oriented listeners. Electronics are of course very present, but sound of synths is here less experimental and more "songmaking". That's why probably this album was very popular and songs like "Cloudburst Flight" were frequently radio-played, together with popular Jarre's works of the same era. Listening again even today this album sounds fresh and interesting. Between 3,5 - 4 stars. Highly recommended.
Report this review (#32527)
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Where the vocals were somewhat interesting on the previous Cyclone album, that phase of the band, thankfully, was now over. As far as I am concerned vocal has no place on more than one Tangerine Dream album. The one overriding factor I can convey about Force Majeure is the fact that it could be Tangerine Dream's most accessible work. The underlying drum work (provided by Klaus Krieger alongside keyboard electro wizards and TD mainstays Edgar Froese and Christoph Franke) is fast, looping, rhythmic and forces a continuous and consistent tone which brings to mind another bunch of Krauts, especially in the title track, Kraftwerk, a band who were making a name for themselves at the end of the seventies, but Tangerine Dream were always a progressive act in any sense and Force Majeure is an evolution of what they built to this time rather than jumping on the band wagon of their country men I may add, Tangerine Dream through a few line up changes along the way were at this sort of thing since the late sixties. As they moved from the seventies to the eighties they took on the mentality of the instrumentation and textures of electronica sounds of the time, and this album with its melody and sound would become more prevalent on future albums yet they would never be as hypnotic as they would be on this album. Still music for darkness with a little light coming through.
Report this review (#37184)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4,5*. The only reason to take the fifth star would be the last 5-10 minutes (I haven't measured, it sure SEEMS too long time) where the music gets totally stuck. Yes, it fits to the title 'Through Metamorphic Rocks' but the same thing goes on and on and then it just ceases without any conclusion to the track which started wonderfully. A nasty ending to otherwise marvelous album.

Anyway, even with that fault this is definitely my TD favourite (with Cyclone) and the one that is - I guess - most likely enjoyed by a PROG fan who wants more than sonic strangeness of the early TD albums or who dislikes technical coldness - and dullness - of later TD style. Here's almost anything you could hope to hear in an instrumental prog work. Not only keyboards and synths are excellent and inspired; Froese plays also acoustic and electric guitars deliciously, and Klaus Krueger's sophisticated drums are very crucial especially in the epic 18-minute title track. It's an exciting, very progressive composition with not a single boring moment. Perhaps on the latter half it sounds a bit naive and Jarre-like momentarily, but not too much. And then 'Cloudburst Flight', the best TD track under 10 minutes. What an atmosphere! Others seem not to complain about the ending of 'Metamorphic', so all in all Force Majeure is highly recommended, even if you're new to Tangerine Dream.

Report this review (#37759)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Fabulous album, and probably the best TD produced in their long carreer. Fabulous spacy keyboard and synthesiser arrangements. The themes vary from spacy ambient to more upfront melodics. The drums are hardly used, only when needed for extra dynamics they come around.

The first song takes us away on a magical journey, and I can't get enough of it, beautyfull. The first four minute start really slow and ambient, and than the guitar enters with some keyboard melodics and rock drums behind it. Enough happens to keep your attention, just sheer fabulous, listen yourself.

Side two starts with the great Cloudburst Flight, after a slow acoustic guitar ambient synth intro an amazing synthesiser solo takes over, a great flight indeed. the last track continous in the same vein as Cloudburst, but a bit deeper in tone, and it is maybe stretched out a bit too long, and a bit more frantic overall, but a nice track.

Concluding I can say that despite the last track is overstaying it's welcome a little bit, this is a great album, and certainly worth your while if you enjoy synthesiser music, and spacy ambient stuff, with some harder edges. Recommended surely

Peace Out

Report this review (#90867)
Posted Thursday, September 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Force Majeure" contains loads of goods ideas, good implementation of ideas, nice atmospheres, beautiful sequences, good guitar work and perhaps the best feature of drums (real drum set, not the machine) in electronic music.

However, I don't think it's a masterpiece. Why? Well, sometimes the music is not bigger (not even equal) than the sum of it's parts. Somewhat is missing, and it's hard to tell what. Sounds like the guys from the band decided to make a very good record, and then somewhere in the middle of recording someone said "Hey, we have to publish it as soon as possible, doesn't matter if the tracks are unfinished, just give them anything. Hurry!"

The "Force Majeure" track itself would be considered masterpiece - if published as a EP or single. There are a few inconsistencies, just to remind you that the authors of the masterpieces are imperfect human being themselves, and that imperfection makes it perfect. Get it?

To be less poetic and more fact-oriented, I will say that the track contains astonishing intro, full of (scary) ambiental sounds, sounds that can remind you of bird flock, locomotive, thunder...after a 5 minutes or so rhythm begins to drive the song, and soon after a drum enters in, we have a enjoyable drive and a story to listen, wondering where it will take us.

And it will take us to incredible soundscapes, German-precise machine-like drumming, pentatonic sequence (my favourite!) and it will end with nice neo-baroque melody.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album is not on the same level. "Cloudburst Flight" is a self-explanatory title, and it's mellow and lovely, short song. (for TANGERINE DREAM, clocking at 7 and a half minutes is just a brief idea, really).It's quite pleasant, but there is not much to focus your attention on, really. "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" is way toooo long; it starts with nice guitar work, and then turns into a trance monster of repetitive simple sequence and one major chord repeating itself on and on. TANGERINE DREAM are brilliant sound technicians, and that chord is mutating itself from sharp, detuned brassy oscillator inferno to something that could easily be overdriven Hammond organ played through strong filter with extra noise sources. That could be interesting if you are into sound synthesis, but for an average prog rock fan it's not very challenging. This album failed in it's purpose - whatever that purpose should be. If your perception of music is more transcendental, meditative, than the first track is too diverse and detailed. If you are looking from a progressive point of view, B-side is too repetitive. Perhaps listening would work very well if you consume some brain-distorting chemicals before you spin the record, but if the record is not telling you stories when you are sober and clean, that's just not a masterpiece in my book.

Report this review (#101790)
Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tangerine Dream is a band unique to me. Why? In a way, this is not the band where I'm a great fan of it but I occasionally play the music for a break from other kind of music. To me, the music of Tangerine Dream (as so the case with Klaus Schulze, Kitaro, Vangelis) gives a feeling of peacefulness. I sometimes followed the news about this band whom I was familiar with through "Cyclon" album where "Bent Cold Sidewalk" was featured. It's truly my best favorite song from any song of Tangerine Dream. In the case of "Force Majeure", Jolliffe quites the band and there was basically just a team of two : the Froese/Franke collobaoration. The fans were quite happy with the fact that this album remarked the return of the band into the right track. Influenced by the predecessor album, the band moves away from the "electronic" approach and giving guitars and flutes on some occasion. The album itself sounds dynamic to me. As far as improvement concern, you can expect nothing as this album still maintain the style and sound of previous albums. It's probably the band had achieved plateau condition and was not rejuvenated properly. I can see that the band desperately trying to expand their music horizon through what so called progressive movement through relatively long keyboard and guitar solo.

Overall, this is a good album even for those of you who are new to the band. There is nothing complex for newbie to starts off with this album. For long die hard fans, this might be a MUST as the band returned to the original style. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

"DragonForce Inhuman Rampage World Tour" Live in Jakarta, May 19, 2007, Tennis Outdoor. Featuring fastest metal guitar virtuoso. Be There! Or Die!

Report this review (#120777)
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
5 stars Electronic music in its "pure" form can be intensely beautiful, but if you want passionate you have to meld it to progressive rock, with guitars both acoustic and electric, and real drums. This is what Tangerine Dream decided to do with "Cyclone", but the vocals amounted to too big a change. On Force Majeure, they reached a career pinnacle, blending a Floydian spaciness and a sense of the dramatic onto their existing sound with astounding results.

The side long title cut is a shape shifting masterpiece, from floating and sensuous, to open and rocking, to hypnotic, to succinctly synthesized. But "Cloudburst Flight" actually bests the opener, telling a musical tale of a flight through a major storm, from innocent beginnings to growing gloom to severe attack, and finally to an epiloguish escape and the view of the rainbow and the sun again. The use of acoustic guitars below the highly melodic and colourful surface is especially noteworthy.

While "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" is a letdown, it is by no means a failure, especially in the first few rocking minutes, but eventually the repetition takes its toll; as innovative as the closing theme may have been for 2 or 3 minutes, after 5 or 6 it does lose its appeal.

4.5 stars, rounded up because of the great significance of this album and the fact that 3/4 of it is total perfection and the other 1/4 is listenable. Start here if the idea of electronic music is daunting but you have heard good things about TD, because this is the album for you. If you already know TD, allow yourself to be overcome by force majeure, pun intended.

Report this review (#126860)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Spacy keyboard and synthesiser arrangements

Not my every day music i might say. Not really fit my taste, but not really bad. I will be very short here, Cloudburst Flight the middle piece from the album and the worst track from here is nothing than a boring trip through everything is about arangements on keys, the other two the longest are so so. Titla track begin so god, but after 3 or 4 minutes begin to repeat same key passages, same notes, kinda boring to my ears. The Thru Metamorphic Rocks is in the same vein with title track, begin good and then total mediocre to me. Nothing to add just avoid this record, not band. Maybe other albums from Tangerin Dream are more enjoyble. 2 stars only for spacy - electronic lovers, i'm not one of them.

Report this review (#144332)
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of my favorite TD albums, the title track is simply amazing, starting of with the usual soft space sounds like many other TD album but then it changes and becomes on of very few and certinly the best space rocker TD ever made amazing guitars and keyboards, this might be my favortie TD piece, the song then change to more softer again but still great more cosmic space music. The following Cloudburst Flight is allso very good in the same style, a bit more laid back with nice guitars mixed with the usual TD space keyboards. Too bad that the ending Thru Metamorphic Rocks is not on the same level as the other 2 tracks it starts good but then a monoton beat enters and it goes nowhere from there and becomes boring, too bad if it hade been on the same level as the other 2 this whuld have been up there with the other TD classics, but still this is a highly recomded very good album, it have another sound then thiere earlier albums a bit more modern sounding and more guitars. But other then htat its the same old TD in top form. 4 stars.
Report this review (#162112)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Though not the furious cosmic event 'Cyclone' was, 'Force Majeure' marked yet another evolution in TANGERINE DREAM's sound. The album looks the same as the others - one side-long track, two shorter tracks - and starts the same - warm synths and strange sounds - but it's as much a rock album as it is an electronic one.

From now until the end of the Virgin years, TANGERINE DREAM issued a series of carefully thought out, interesting and sometimes exceptional studio albums blending prog rock and electronica. After 'Cyclone' this is the best of them, largely because of the presence of the amazing 'Cloudburst Flight'.

The title track spends four minutes on the usual ethereal buildup, but rather than pulsing sequencers we're greeted with an orthodox drummer and guitar stylings. This is the first of many sections, all fused together by sound effects (trains, bells and so on), and sounds distinctly Floydian. Oddly, the track seems to wind down rather than up, and the quieter sections bring the track to a rather underwhelming close with a tune more like a nursery tune than the sophisticated stuff they're capable of. That said, this is an outstanding track, another summation of what TD were about, with some excellent proggy moments.

It is 'Cloudburst Flight', though, that garners the kudos from this album. It's what I've come to call an orgasmic track, that is a deliberate build from a languid beginning into frenzied activity, leading to the inevitable climax and detumescence. Music like this is common in both prog rock and techno, but this track is really the very best example of its type. I apologise for any offence my analogy might cause, but I do believe such tracks work at least partly because they mimic a common (and pleasurable) human experience.

This track is about EDGAR FROESE's guitar, and he makes it scream, strain and howl like GILMOUR's mad cousin. It reminds me of the climax to MIKE OLDFIELD's 'Ommadawn Side 1' but with far more vigour. The track begins with some mouth-wateringly clear acoustic guitar (the foreplay), and the pulse that arises is deliciously understated. We get down to business after a bit less than two minutes with a synth line, leading us to expect this to be another 'Stratosfear' - like track. But it all changes at 2:40 with a magic descending bass line, joined by the madman's guitar and KRUGER's staccato drumming. Just luxuriate in the tone and depth of this solo ... until the climax and the sweet, sweet falling away.

'Thru Metamorphic Rocks' is supposed to have arisen because of a studio accident affecting the bass. Certainly it's great fun, an excellent opening growing into a stonking rock track, guitar and synth to the fore, then blown apart by some malfunction into a repetitive electronic nightmare that just goes on and on. A wonderful fusion of rock and electronica, this track perhaps outstays its welcome, but is excellent nonetheless.

A must-have album, with each track having a distinctive personality. A guaranteed favourite with fans of mid-70s PINK FLOYD.

Report this review (#168344)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Tangerine Dream , the only progressive band that i would really enjoy listen to , at any time of the day , but also , one of the few , that i will not spend a penny to see any stage performance or not even to watch a video concert . I've seen 2 consecutive concerts for TD in the Warfield of San Francisco during 1992 , during the concert , i felt really opset from the way they performed Force Majeure ( nearly 7 minutes ) , Phaedra ( 6 mnts ) , Rubycon ( 4.5 mnts ) , etc.... The effect that TD's works creates in my mood while listening in the hide has much more effect than in live shows . Force Majeure was the second bridge of TD to cross to a more acceptable progressive moods , by using new instruments & materials in developping this excellent work , and the first without bauman in the original line-up . Still , Force Majeure has different blend from Phaedra , Cyclone , Rubycon & Stratosfear , the use of guitars , cello , drums , in extensive ways , gave this album much more credit , imo , than any other TD's works . As i'm tracking the tracks of this german band since the early 70's , and witnessing all their releases , i believe that FM , is the best work to introduce TD as a progressive band / space rock . 4.5 Stars for all tracks . Tracks Toni
Report this review (#168817)
Posted Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Tangerine Dream exploring space rock.

They do an excellent job. Most Tangerine Dream albums are filled with synth new age soundscapes, but this one is packed with analogue drums and guitarsolos. Side one is masterpiece, perfectly fitting several pieces together as one giant force majeure (pun intended). Hawkwind or Eloy could not have done it better.

Side two reveals a soft spacerock song with excellent guitarintro and maybe one of the most beautiful keyboardsolos ever in Spacerock.

The final song is cheer aggression with heavy percussives and loud synth.

A masterpiece and being one of the most wonderful spacerock albums in history.

5 stars (only because 6 are not allowed :))

Report this review (#189272)
Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Although I´m neither an eletronic music expert nor a fan of Tangerine Dream I decided to write a review about this CD because I really liked its music. Previously my sole experince with TD´s music was hearing my sister´s copy of Phaedra in the mid 70´s. That experimental, strutctureless sound didn´t appeal to me at all: it wasmore like incidental background music for a terror movie, not the progressive sounds I was starting to love at the time. Small wonder Tangerine Dream did so many soundtracks in the following years!

So I was not exactly thrilled when a friend gave me this CD. But upon hearing it I was quite surprised how the TD sound had changed: in Force Majeure there are a number of ´common´ instruments and quite captivating tunes. I never thought I´d hear strumming acoustic guitars along with some Gilmour-like eletric solos on a TD album! Drums are also present (eletronic drums, but played by a real drummer anyway). Of the only 3 tracks the long title track and Cloudburst Flight are the best ones, both quite melodiic and enjoyable, mixing very well the experimental and the conventional side of the eletronic music, with fine, captivating melodies. Thru Metamorphic Rocks stars off very well but soon gets too repetitive and pointless. Legend says it occured by a mistake of the mixing board during the recording. If so, why didn´t they fixed it?

Nevertheless, I found this CD to be both interesting and pleasant even if you´re not really into this kind of genre. I guess now I´ll try to hear more of Tangerine Dream´s catholog in the near future. I recommend Force Majeure especially to the non initiated. 3 stars.

Report this review (#195083)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Dreamy surrealism abounds.

This is a very beautiful electronic album, and out of TD's best works, this is one of the lighter ones. Granted it does have its dark moments, but this is by no means anywhere near as dark as, say, Phaedra. That doesn't mean that it's not as good though.

On first inspection, something very noticeable jumps out at me; this album has drums in it. Granted, Cyclone also had them, but still, to hear them at this point in TD's career sounds a bit odd at first. However, I found that feeling quickly subsided when I realized the more important issue that I mentioned before of this being a lighter album. It still has a very bombastic feel to it, but it doesn't reek of depression and total darkness that no light could extinguish. The title track is easily the best song on here, in the way it ebbs, flows, and overall develops. At times I'm convinced that there are 80s old-school video game sounds thrown in there as well. Some of the sound effects that Tangerine Dream uses never cease to amaze me. Cloudburst Flight focuses more on the building aspect of the title track rather than seeing how many sounds one can cram into a song. Thru Metamorphic Rocks is probably the weakest of the 3 tracks, but I can't really think of that as bad necessarily. Perhaps it just lacks a bit of the power and emotion of the previous 2 tracks.

Overall, if you've never heard Tangerine Dream before but want to ease yourself into the band rather than throw yourself into an album of cataclysmic darkness, then I would recommend starting here. This is an album that lifts you up to the clouds immediately, gives you an almost 40 minute ride gently soaring among them, then plants you back down to earth safely and softly. A masterpiece of progressive rock and electronic music? Absolutely. I give it 5 stars without hesitation.

Report this review (#200126)
Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Neo Prog Team
4 stars Tangerine Dream return in 1979, with one of their finest albums.

Never a band to follow trends, TD decide that 1979 is the year to release their most symphonic album. That's right, as prog as a whole continues it's punk-induced implosion, the band go completely the other way, and release a full-blown symphonic effort.

At thist time, Tangs are a proper band, with guitars, acoustic drums and of course, layer upon layer of wonderful synths. As such, I would describe this as one of the least typical TD albums, but at the same time one of their very best. Fortunately vocalist Steve Joliffe had departed, and this release is wholly instumental.

The title track is an out and out symphonic piece, with many twists and turns. It has stood the test of time well. It is the longest track on the album, and taking up a full side of vinyl, it is the album's epic. It's an excellent piece, and holds the listener's attention throughout, but it's not as good as the next one.

My favourite track is Cloudburst Flight, which starts with gorgeous acoustic guitar, before the synths enter the fray. Again it's symphonic, a lovely tune this one, and a fantastic ending with delightful synths leading over a laid back rhythm of acoustic drums. Great stuff.

Thru Metamorphic Rocks is much more typical Tangs, it's more electronic, repetitive and nowhere near as symphonic. The driving electronic rhythm which pulses throughout does it for me. I think this was a sign of things to come, as TD would return to a more electronic-based direction after this release.

In summing up, this is a superb album, and one of the first by TD that I bought on cd to replace my old vinyl copy. That I think says it all. For a fan of Tangs, it is an absolute essential. For a fan of symphonic prog, this is a perfect album to test the water with if you are interested in hearing Tangerine Dream. I always used this album when attempting to convert symphonic prog friends of mine to TD. It usually worked too!

I rate this above 4 stars, but not as high as 5. My rating is 4.25, which I will round down to 4. A mighty fine album.

Report this review (#202348)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars A magnificent sonic extrapolation of the physics of the atmosphere which safeguards our fragile blue dot which acquires powerful feminine beauty through it`s romantic French language title. The spacious drama of the processes of meteorological and geological forces interacting through the ages reach mystical proportions with the extensive use of an array of synths and sequencers aided by compressed electric guitar treatments combined with the wondrous studio wizardry associated with electronic music masters, Tangerine Dream.

At the time the group was sailing through some stormy waters and fans really didn`t know what to expect when Tangerine Dream came through with this jewel in 1979. A more streamlined melodic sound emerged which was perhaps a sign of the times but nevertheless demonstrated what still could be accomplished with anologue equipment at the dawn of digital technology which was just over the horizon. Still exhibiting the splendour of earlier extended compositions such as Stratosfear & Rubycon, the most notable changes here are more focus on guitars and the presence of a live drummer which adds hypnotic rythmical effects throughout. The dynamic work, in three parts, constantly fluctuates, rises and falls with different ideas being introduced and re-introduced and bears the natural unpredicability of the systems of nature it seeks to depict. At times it becomes somewhat sinister suggesting ancient qualities of the cycles of nature through the ages but often resolves into majestic and glorious celebrations, particularily at the conclusion of the work on the epic Thru Metamorphic Rocks. The calm and fury of mother nature is meticulously exemplified the middle section, Cloudburst Flight, which explores the various stages of a developing and subsiding weather system and is by far the most powerful artistic statement on the album and one of the best loved Tangerine Dream tracks. Some of the music heard here was also cultivated for other Tangerine Dream projects and appears on the soundtracks for the films Risky Business and Theif as well reworkings that appear on various live recordings. But the best advice though is to stick to the original compositions presented here in their intended contexts.

Intoxicating from begin to finish Force Majuere will not only solicit acclaim from fans of Tangerine Dream but it`s captivating theme and execution will also fascinate the uninitiated. A masterful, exquisite example of progressive electronic music.

Report this review (#218335)
Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars TD sent me to heaven with their seventies production. Especially between '74 and '77. If you would put ''Cyclone'' between brackets, all of their albums ranged from good to excellent.

This ''Force Majeure'' is some sort of going back to the roots (no vocals) but at the same time it prolongs the new direction introduced with the prior and controversial album. The title and epic track is damned good but it requires some open-minding for old TD fans as I am. The trippy atmosphere is not the only one that belongs here (even if quite obvious).

There are quite hectic electronic beats as well (but not too long) which conveys a special feel to the track. Extremely atmospheric guitar, melodic keys and superb spacey parts are just gorgeous moments of great music.

The second piece sounds almost as Floydean (WYWH period). ''Welcome To The Machine'' is not far from here? But there is no harm done, this track also has its own merit. One just need to be acquainted to hear these sort of drumming during a TD track. Once you have made the step, it is all enjoyment. ''Force Majeure'' is actually a pretty good album. It can't be compared to some of their jewels like ''Rubycon'' but the quality level is still pretty high. The closing track ''Thru Metamorphic Rocks'' is quite a ride as well. Much more rhythm in here than in almost all their previous work combined.

Only a few difficult moments are holding me to be 100% positive, but still: the overall feeling is very favourable. I would have appreciated a more spacey manoeuvre though but the band has evolved to other (atmo) spheres.

I have reviewed the whole TD discography from the seventies with an immense pleasure. The eighties will be full of soundtracks releases, some good live albums and some other studio ones. I still don't know if I'll have the courage to review thirty albums more and cover their next decade.

Thanks a lot to Edgar who was the soul and spirit since day one. This band has been a genuine part of my teens and I always listen to their music with quite an enthusiasm, respect and admiration.

Four stars for ''Force Majeure''.

Report this review (#222937)
Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars They're down to a duo (Froese & Franke) at this point with a guest drummer and cello player. As others have mentioned they've added some "Rock" to to their spacey soundscapes on this one with the drums and guitar being rather prominant.

"Force Majeure" is the side long opener at over 18 minutes. Waves of sound to start as this twittering (no not THAT twittering) comes and goes. A change 4 minutes in as it turns darker but it's brief as piano, drums and guitar come in quickly making it a lot brighter. This section sounds really good. Synths join in as well before 6 minutes. Moog takes over a minute later as the sound changes once again. It turns spacey 9 1/2 minutes in with no melody and it's kind of dark. Twittering is back and moog as well. What an uplifting soundscpae before 14 1/2 minutes. Drums16 minutes in. Spacey to end it.

"Cloudburst Flight" opens with acoustic guitar as spacey synths come in. This reminds me of FLOYD. Synths then take right over. Drums before 3 minutes then the guitar comes in. Excellent sound here. Synths take over late to end it. "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" is probably a title they gave it to describe the sound late on this one. It opens with piano as the guest cello slices away. Drums follow as piano continues. Guitar before 2 1/2 minutes. It changes after 4 1/2 minutes as electronics take over. It's building 8 minutes in. I like when the spacey background synths come in. Just an onslaught of sounds follow (breaking thru the rocks) before it calms down to end it.

For me an enjoyable 4 star album

Report this review (#261852)
Posted Thursday, January 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars The beginning of a complete sellout!

I never understood why everyone is so fanatic about this TD album. Why is everyone calling this "progressive"? It's more "regressive" to me. There is absolutely nothing intriguing here, just a couple of easy listening melodies (the pseudo Kraftwerk tune at the end of Force Majeure), some easy going sequenzing and far too much Froese on guitar.

The older work, albums like "Atem", "Phaedra" were showing a band evolving, searching, exploring. "Ricochet" started ringing an alarmbell with me (Froese on guitar) but was still excellent... Even "Cyclone" had very good moments ecxept the short track "Rising Runner"...

FArce Majeure I called it from the start. OK the main piece has a couple of moments but the 2 tracks on side 2 are just completely uninteresting. I could as well buy an album by Mud or The Rubettes... I sold most of their 80s LPs I had and am still concentrating on TD as I learned to know them back in 1974... This album to me is pure commercialism.

Report this review (#276131)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Tangerine Dream continues to evolve with Force Majeure. After Peter Baumann departed a couple of years back, TD came out with Cyclone, which had some excellent music but also contained a live drummer and vocals. While I enjoyed the album, the fans and possibly Froese was not too pleased and vocalist Steve Joliffe was gone by this album.

Force Majeure rocks harded than anything TD had done previously. Spacey atmospheres, acoustic and electric guitars added with some nice drumming and TD had an excellent album. Only 3 tracks long but 3 excellent pieces they are. My only reservation about this album is that Thru Metamorphic Rocks tends to go on a bit long w/o the necessary development to back it up. Unfortunately TD, would never explore this side of prog rock again as drummer Klaus Kreiger was gone after FM and Edgar Froese and Chris Franke would soon enlist Johannes Schmoelling and they were off exploring other sonic territories.

A very strong 4 stars!

Report this review (#278758)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars An excellent return to form after the miserably run-of-the-mill 'Cyclone'. It's still a world away in sound from 'Rubycon' though. I really like the treated guitars on this one and the spatial feeling of the recording which separates 'Force Majeure' from it's follow ups. This is their last truly great album (with the exception of the very good 'Underwater Sunlight' from '86).

A classy late 70's album that is superbly recorded, where every sound is crystal clear. 'Force Majeure' is a fair bit more upbeat than its predecessors but at the same time is far more enjoyable. It also has a couple of cheesy moments in the form of disco era ABBA, but these are washed away with the fresh sound of the album and immensely catchy tunes. Not many complaints here. But a multitude will come in the following years.

Report this review (#287464)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This 1979-release marked Tangerine Dream's return to the direction that was depicted on their 1976 album Stratosfear. With this in mind Force Majeure is still far from the classic style that the band depicted on Phaedra and Rubycon.

The first notable difference is Edgar Froese's extended use of guitar arrangements which give the music a feel of Space Rock that must have been inspired by Pink Floyd's style of the time. This change is very prominent on the opening title track which takes the band's sound to new heights even thought the strong melodic coating might feel a bit too sugary for the fans of the early, more ambient, material. This composition does take a while to get off the ground but towards the 4th minute is where the music gets very spacy, with Klaus Kruger's percussion work only adding more layering to the beauty of this work. The ending section is a complete killer that should knock most fans of their feet the moment they'll hear it.

Cloudburst Flight continues on the same themes as the opening track but this time with even more of that Pink Floyd feel to it. The keyboard soloing towards the end might put some people off, myself included, but other than that it's another fine piece of music from the Tangerine Dream factory. The 15 minute Thru Metamorphic Rock was definitely much more of a surprise, to my ears, since I wasn't expecting this band's music to become so direct so early in their career. I feel that Froese gets a bit carried away with his guitar soloing, especially since there isn't much of momentum to back up his intense playing. The transition to the more electronic section, right after the guitar driven part, feels clumsy and might just as well have been a totally different track. Another suggestion would be to cut out the first 4,5 minutes of this composition and just leave it as a 10 minute electronic jam. Unfortunately even those final 10 minutes aren't that impressive and therefore do more damage than good for the album.

Even though I'm disappointed by one of these three compositions, Force Majeure has enough material to make me believe that this album is a return to form for Tangerine Dream. It might not be the masterpiece that I expected after such promising albums as Rubycon and Ricochet but good enough to make me interested in what this band would do next.

***** star songs: Force Majeure (18:21)

**** star songs: Cloudburst Flight (7:29)

*** star songs: Thru Metamorphic Rocks (14:30)

Report this review (#288697)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars IMO, 1979 Force Majeure is one of those essential Tangerine Dream albums, although it is not exactly at the same level of their masterpieces Phaedra, Rubycon and Tangram, thats why I give it 4.5 stars

The album is on the progressive symphonic vein and consists of three suites:

1.- Force Majeure is the loner track and the one that gives the name of the album, it is divided on different parts, although the written notes don't divide the suite at all. FOR ME, the parts of the suite can be described as this: the creation of the world, the begin of life and grow of plants, the wildlife (when the bass, piano and drums come in), the dawn of man, the civilization, the cientific discoverys of man (on the middle no rhythm section), the present time of humanity (the most played extract of ths suite, the future of man (the synth pop section) and finale. That interpretation is mine, it could be whatever I think.

2.- Cloudburst Flight is an awesome compact suite that sugests flying (like a hanglider) with three or four parts, the introduction, the take off (bass and brassy synth), the flight, the cloudy/storm/turbulence flight part (guitar part) and the relief to a serene atmosphere (final part).

3.- Thru Metamorphic Rocks is the last suite that begins with a very symphonic part, like the past tracks of the album and then starts a synthesizer sequence with lots of white noise shots, and some kind of fanfares, a hammering synthbass note with no variations and pads. Here I really don't imagine anything, but I like it.

Report this review (#296919)
Posted Tuesday, August 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The last great TD album. Basically now a duo of Froese and Franke. Vocalist Jolliffe is now gone but drummer Krieger remains. There is a cello player here but his contributions are not very noticeable. Musically this picks up where Cyclone left off. For the first time since their earliest days, Froese's guitar is very prominent. Force Majeure would be an ideal place for symph/neo fans to start with TD. In many ways this is the band's most symphonic prog album. Actually, a mix of symph prog and electronic prog.

The side-long title track is the highlight of the album. It begins very spacey. Around 2 minutes in it gets more atmospheric and ambient. Before 4 minutes there is a bass synth part, followed by piano. Then drums and guitar. Some electric piano then it goes into a disco beat. A nice guitar solo follows. Before 7 minutes is acoustic guitar and sequencer with a synth solo. The drums have a more traditional rock sound. Some vocoder. Then the drums drop out and we get another spacey section. Around 10 1/2 minutes there is some bass synth and a guitar solo. Later the sound of a bell and some sequencers. After 14 minutes is a good synth melody. Before 16 minutes the drums come back. Then it goes into a Kraftwerk-like part with electronic percussion. Then a more symphonic part. Back to the Kraftwerk part. Ends spacey with some bass synth.

"Cloudburst Flight" starts with acoustic guitar and atmospheric synths. Some sequencer. Then strums on the guitar and more synths. Then rhythmic sequencer and a drum beat. After starts a great guitar solo about halfway through. Sounds like some vocoder during the solo. After the guitar solo the drumming gets calmer. A synth solo. Melodic sequencer to end the song.

"Thru Metamorphic Rocks" begins with a piano part that sounds like something from a horror film. Then a repetative synth part. Drums come in playing a great beat. Some phased drums. After 2 minutes is a great symphonic guitar solo. Tempo increases slightly. After 4 minutes the guitar and drums gets drowned out by sequencer noises. Then some rhythmic sequencer. Spacey effects. Later drums come back doing fills. You hear slowed down laughing at one point. Later you hear a wolf. Ends with bass synth drones.

After this Johannes Schmoelling would join the group, making them a keyboard trio again. Unfortunately their sound would get more streamlined after this. But also more melodic. The only other album that comes closest to this is the previous Cyclone. It would have been nice if they made at least one more album in this style. This deserves 4 stars.

Report this review (#335411)
Posted Friday, November 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first time I heard this album, my mind went somewhere else to the sound of Genesis and other 70's prog bands. Yes, it's a bit different than other TD pervious albums, this one is more melodic. Especially Cloudburst Flight, the second track. This prog pattern still develop into the third track, Thru' Metamorphic Rocks, but brilliantly halfway of this 14 minute-epic, their traditional stark sequence filled the entire track until the end. Absolutely brilliant. In addition, the title track, sounds familiar with their famous haunting 70's sounds combined with prog elements.

This is another interesting fragment in TD's musical journey, because started from the previous album 'Cyclone' they began experimenting with standard prog sounds and vocals, and this time they dropped the vocalist, and left the drummer.

Another interesting era of the post Baumann's period, where Froese and Franke started to reach the peak of their creativity. Simply five stars, because this album is acceptable by both prog and electronic fan like me.

Report this review (#394724)
Posted Saturday, February 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I'm one of those who like the spacey "Pink period" of Tangerine Dream and even if I liked the temporary introduction of vocals in their music and consider Cyclone a very good album, Force Majeure left me a bit concerned.

The title track has a promising spacey intro, but when it turns into rock it's quite trivial. The two-three minutes of guitar-bass-drums are not bad but when they turn back into electronic, even with the rock contamination, is better.

This is the problem with bands with a distinctive sound. We fans in general can't accept changes that make them sound like "everybody else". They are back to a noisy psychedelic part at minute 10, and this is a thing that I don't understand. They risk to loose fans by going into the rock realm, but at the same time they can't give up to spacey and psychedelic sounds that can't be appealing for the mainstream public. It's like Roger Waters' Ca Ira: it's too operistic for Floyd fans and too Floydian for opera fans. Nobody likes it, I think.

This in general. In particular Force Majeure contains many good parts so that the TD excursion into unfamiliar realms can be forgiven.

"Cloudburst Flight", opened by acoustic guitar and keyboard has a Krautrock flavour but is unusually melodic for TD. A good track not too different from the things of the previous albums since Phaedra.

With "Thru Metamorphic Rock" we enter a totally different realm. To be honest this track makes me think to Eloy, and even if well played and absolutely not bad, it's difficult thinking that this is a TD track.

This album may be a good starting point for one who wants to explore this band and is not familiar with the space rock of the beginnings and with instrumental and repetitive tracks which last about 20 minutes each. The music in this album is really easier, even the noisy interlude of the third track is everything but challenging. A good album but not representative of the band, so 3 stars.

Report this review (#427464)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Force Majeure is a continuation of the more progressive-rock oriented Tangerine Dream sound that started with Statosfear and Cyclone, but luckily the vocalist from Cyclone is no longer with the band. The sound, though, is still very close to the music on the two predecessor albums.

The title-track has a steady pace and great energy, and moves through many beautiful passages either featuring prominently mellotron or guitar, and is thoroughly built on a synthetic-electro base ground. Through the middle to close to the end, the electronics take over and create a remarkably spacey atmosphere for a track that started in such a rock-oriented way. "Cloudburst Flight" starts with beautiful acoustic guitar before venturing into a slow and drudgy riff that serves as the base for guitar and keyboard solos. "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" immediately creates a hauntingly beautiful melody with keys and synthesized electronic experimental noises, and features an almost Pink Floyd-like guitar solo before the mid-section of the track becomes dominated by static pulsing, soaring mellotron, and added experimental electronic buzzes.

Highly recommended Tangerine Dream album featuring a more aggressive symphonic prog sound, and is well suited towards fans of Zombi.

Report this review (#438588)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The never-ending saga that is Tangerine Dream's long-running career has thrown up some peculiar stylistic phases during the last forty years, none more so than the group's late- seventies attempt to marry their classic electronic sound with the complex intricacies of progressive rock. The albums 'Cyclone', 'Force Majeure' and 'Tangram' threw up some interesting musical quirks, as, rather late in the day it must be said, the group's founder, leader and all-round head-honcho Edgar Froese looked towards the likes of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes for new ideas. One of these 'new' ideas included having British multi-instrumentalist Steve Jolliffe(ex-Steamhammer)return to the Tangerine Dream fold for a second time and add his distinctively creepy vocals to the opening track of 'Force Majeure' predecessor 'Cyclone', a musical decision that split both the fans and critics alike. Unsurprisingly, Jolliffe is not present on 'Force Majeure'. Instead, drummer Klaus Krieger and keyboardist Christopher Franke are the ones charged with helping out the group's founder, leader, and all-round head-honcho Edgar Froese, as the Tangerine Dream sound started to edge back towards the group's classic mid-seventies sound, albeit with a strong prog influence still evident. The tracks on 'Force Majeure' - all three of them - feature a genuine war-chest of musical hardware, with guitars - both steel and acoustic - mandolins, bongo's and sequencers lining up alongside the drums, banks of keyboards and hi-tech synthesizers, creating a huge, warm sound that positively coats the listener in a thick glaze of dreamy, cosmic melodies. Neither Krautrock but not quite prog either, 'Force Majeure' is a true stepping-stone album, bridging the gap between psych-fused, cosmic-space-rock-prog sound the group pioneered in the late-sixties and early-seventies and the more commercially-orientated, pop-electronica style of the 1980's. The late-seventies would mark a fertile and prolific period of creativity for Tangerine Dream, of which 'Force Majeure' falls slap-bang in the middle of. The albums on either side of this 1977 release, the previously-mentioned 'Cyclone' and the moody, trippy 'Tangram' count as some of the most expansive and progressive recordings the group made, whilst the early- 1980's output would also feature elements of these albums woven in to their highly- electronic fabric, with even elements of the band's psychedelic late-sixties origins creeping into 1983's 'Hyperborea'. Many Tangerine Dream fans will argue that the bands true golden phase was between 1969 and 1974, and, more specifically, the albums 'Electronic Meditation', 'Alpha Centauri', 'Zeit' and 'Atem', and there is no doubting the innovative scope, power and creativity of those albums. However, when Edgar Froese and co finally started playing with actual melodies is when the real Tangerine Dream sound would evolve. The group's trademark slowly-unfurling electronics rhythms, twittering keyboards and lush synthesizers would adorn a series of albums from 1975 onwards, with 'Force Majeure' the most ornate and satisfying of the lot. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
Report this review (#442027)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Recorded in the wake of the disastrous reception of Cyclone - the first Tangerine Dream album with an attempt to include actual song lyrics - Force Majeure finds Froese and Franke still in the midst of retooling the band's lineup, but perhaps a bit more confident in their musical direction this time around. Rather than being a radical shift like Cyclone, Force Majeure builds on the approach taken on Encore and Tangerine Dream's soundtrack work of the time, in particular continuing the band's experiments with reintegrating acoustic instruments and rock techniques into their compositions (which, whilst being a major feature of Cyclone, was also part of Encore).

The acoustic instruments are used to add texture to what are fundamentally still progressive electronic compositions as opposed to prog rock opuses - a clear improvement over the compositions on Cyclone, which weren't sure whether they were one thing or the other. In short, this album finds Tangerine Dream back on course, and presents another excellent set of Tangerine Dream mood pieces in the group's mature style - that said, it will tend to come across as a little bland and plastic for those more used to the group's wilder, spookier earlier work.

Report this review (#559504)
Posted Saturday, October 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars A Force to be Reckoned With...4.5 Stars rounded up.

I used to have this in the 80s after I gave up on the rock scene and went to a more instrumental phase of music, little did I know I fell into a Sub-genre of the prog world. I downloaded this recently and remember all the joy it once gave me. Its sad I no longer have the TD collection (and others) that I gathered at that time.

Needless to say for those who know a little about TD, the drums, and more work with the guitar as well as some acoustic instruments are a welcome addition on this album. They have taken off into a new direction if you were to compare it to previous works such as Tangram (which I also liked). Here are the tracks as I see them.

Force Majeure - Starts into a collective type ambiance, then converting to a beautiful blend of piano/synth, drum, and lead type guitar mix before shifting gears into a more synth environment, but keeping some melody in the process (Not just drifting space music). Then comes the psychedelic phasing into another guitar laden intro to our sequencing looping effect, that we have all come to know and love about TD, but with a new melody beginning to merge over the top.

Cloudburst Flight - Captures you from the start. Lots of looping, synthing, with well mixed drums and guitar. I dare say again, there is some melody once more, but this time filled with a little more emotion with soaring chords and phasing followed by some quiet moments at the end (but not too quiet).

Thru Metamorphic Rocks - This one gets down to an ecclectic progressive, pyschedelic mix with some "brass" sounding synths raring their heads into our ears. This also has a constant driving, pulsing sound that pushes it along its skyward flight into the cosmos (sorry, wrote this while listening to it and left the planet momentarily). There are some mysterious "creature" type sounds interweaving throughout the latter part of this song. What a trip!

This is my favorite Tangerine Dream album. I give it a 4.51 which rounds up to a 5, as they have completed their sound with the drums, acoustic, and more electric guitar mix on this effort.


Report this review (#826367)
Posted Saturday, September 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Force Majeure' - Tangerine Dream (6/10)

Listening to "Force Majeure", I find myself with a new appreciation for Tangerine Dream's best work. From where I'm standing, that's in reference to ambient monsters "Rubycon" and "Phaedra"- each very expansive, drawn out and dark constructs. Not quite yet out of the 70's, these pioneers' tenth record still grasps at many of the band's defining traits, but with it, there is a greater rock presence, not only by the fact that guitars are once again an ingredient, but also that the rhythms have been tightened up and made a little less scattered. Perhaps its simply a matter of expectation and taste, but Tangerine Dream's glorious sound seems to lose something in this rhythmic transformation. There is still much of the same synthesized goodness heard on their best records, but I can't help but feel a little disappointed that the band would marginalize one of my favourite things about them.

The fact that "Force Majeure" is split into three long songs is absolutely no surprise by this point in their career. Although synthesizers still form a base of their sound however, electric and acoustic guitars, and even rock drums are tossed into the mix. It does not sound like much of a revolution given popular music, but considering Tangerine Dream's cream-of- the-crop almost entirely negated traditional rock instruments, it's quite a change of pace. The sprawling title track is a strong example of what is both right and wrong with this development. Although there are several powerful electronic motifs within the epic that recall the classic sound, the piece's middle section is driven by a very rock-oriented drum rhythm, wandering electric leads, and bluesy piano licks.

Thanks to the inclusion of wonderfully unexpected acoustic guitar breaks, the title track sounds at times like classic-era Genesis, or even Yes. Although it never achieves the mind- melting depth of atmosphere on "Rubycon", there is a sense of completion to the epic by the time it's finished. On the other hand, the occasionally syncopated drums fused with the synths give a subtle impression of Disco, and that's not something I like to find in music, and prog music even less so.

Electronica remains the primary element in Tangerine Dream's stew, but the more concise approach leaves its mark. Froese and co. will occasionally explore the deep end of the pool sonically, but you're more often prone to hearing them dabble with upbeat melodic ideas, the kind that would pervade much of their less artistically successful 80's material. Though the huge closer "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" at first appears to be a potential saviour and return-to-form for Tangerine Dream, it turns out to be the least effective piece on the album, with the runt "Cloudburst Flight" being somewhere in between the two qualitywise. While "Cloudburst Flight" evokes a strong sense of Floyd's "Crazy Diamond" epic, "Metamorphic Rocks" feels as if it is a compilation of ideas that did not quite make it on the two or three albums that came before. Structurally, it is a mess, and while some of the second side's more challenging moments make for an intriguing sonic experience, "Force Majeure" is left on a lukewarm note.

I've heard "Force Majeure" described as the end of the 'classic' Tangerine Dream era, and perhaps that's true. For all of its disappointment and inconsistency, the wandering soul of the band still finds a place to nestle amongst the rocky beats and synthesized melodic cheese that would only metastasize in the decade to follow.

Report this review (#844364)
Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars On Force Majeure, Tangerine Dream started to branch out with more traditional instrumentation. Unfortunately, several of the "rock" passages sound terribly banal. When the group performs principally progressive electronic music augmented by those other instruments, however, the results very often stand shoulder to shoulder with some of their finest work.

"Force Majeure" Immediately sinister, there is thin organ and ominous voice-like ghouls of sound marching behind the fore. As though the horrid specters destroyed flesh and some astral element of the victim ascended heavenward, the music suddenly shifts to an airy etherealness Tangerine Dream had never quite achieved. Speaking of novelty, this piece soon launches into a more down-to-earth straightforward rock and roll jam, with piano and electric guitar, sounding like something from The Alan Parsons Project. The acoustic-electric passage that ensues next takes the more traditional Tangerine Dream style and melds it with the newfangled rock element. I adore the dreamy melodic twists present throughout the piece, particularly near the synthesizer-drenched ending.

"Cloudburst Flight" Twelve-string guitar, as spacious as the desert scene it evokes, falls to the backdrop as a dominant electronic theme assumes control of the rhythm. Electric guitar and aggressive keyboard handle the lead work.

"Thru Metamorphic Rocks" The main thrust of the first third of this track is an uncomplicated, semi-symphonic bit in a major key that sounds awfully dated. It could have been a theme to any number of campy television programs of the time. The rest of the piece is darker, intense, and more similar to the electronic music for which Tangerine Dream is better known.

Report this review (#1016552)
Posted Sunday, August 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars When you love a masterpiece the way I love Force Majeure, you just can't imagine your life without it. My favorite album, EVER, and my favorite song.

FIRST OF: no vocals.

This is real psychedelic rock from the 70s, expect that and much more. It is ambient, electronic and progressive. The synth sounds, arpeggios, and cacophony of sounds will blow your mind. There is really not much to say, you just have to listen. If you're familiar with early Tangerine Dream, you know that this is one of the most amazing highlights in their career. If you're a GTA5 freak, please know this will not sound like the GTA5 stuff but I can assure you, if you're open minded; you wont be disappointed.

Report this review (#1512162)
Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars True Electronic Rock!

4.5 stars

"Force Majeure" is certainly TANGERINE DREAM's best progressive rock-oriented opus. Second and last release of the intermediate period between the electronic Baumann and Schmoelling eras, the music displays more structured compositions, with floyd-ish guitar-driven melodies. As Steve Jolliffe left the band after the 1978 Cyclone Tour, there are no sung parts here. However Klaus Krüger is still present, his drums play adds dynamism to the music.

The title track is a progressive electro-rock 20 minutes long epic. It nearly has everything: melodic changes, punchy guitars and spacey sequenced synth passages. The aerial "deliverance part" near the end will become a concert favorite. A composition close to perfection... Unfortunately the finale sounds odd. A kind of baroque-inspired melody, similar to Wendy Carlos's "Switched-on Bach". Not very justified here. Nonetheless, "Force Majeure" is a TD classic!

"Cloudburst Flight" is a nice, melancholic tune featuring an interesting progression and a very good distorted guitar solo from Edgar Froese. The record closes with "Thru Metamorphic Rocks". This track can be divided in two parts: it starts with an aerial guitar passage and then "morphs" into a frenetic electronic sequence. This loop is one of the best from the german band: futuristic, wild and ahead of its time with its strange sound effects. However, it is a bit too long and repetitive as it does not feature enough variations to maintain interest.

Only little mistakes prevents this record from reaching the maximal note. "Force Majeure" is one of the best albums of TANGERINE DREAM, and the one to start with if you're more into space rock than electronica.

Report this review (#1540869)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars On Force Majeure, Tangerine Dream get rid of the singer used on Cyclone, but as a connection with Cyclone, for the second (and last) time in a row they use Klaus Krüger as drummer (he's written with German Umlaut-ue, not sure whether this shows well in progarchives; I was always confused whether the guy's name was Krueger or Krieger but it seems that he made it "Krieger" so that people wouldn't have to use the Umlaut). The album can also be connected to their next effort "Tangram" in that the music is very melodic and tonal; although there are some more mysterious sounding parts (mostly when the drummer takes a break, and toward the end), most of the album tries to be beautiful, peaceful and rather easily listenable.

I decided to write this review in order to add an apparently outlying point of view. I'm surprised to see that pretty much everyone rates this very highly. For me it is clearly inferior to both surrounding albums, Cyclone and Tangram. I'm fine with the addition of drums and the strong use of guitars, spicing up their usual sound a bit. Neither am I per se against going into a more melodic and transparent direction that some people would call "commercial". The thing is, I don't find much attraction in this album from the point of view of composition. The melodies and harmonies are mostly quite bland, there is hardly anything in this album that I find memorable. Before, the focus of the band was much more on sound and atmosphere, but here the focus is more on melody and harmony and structure, in which case composition becomes more important, and in this department they don't deliver. Several parts are played out repetitively to quite some length, but with doing this kind of thing with an almost full rock formation, TD are rather late to the party, and I don't find particularly exciting or special what they do.

To be fair, the instrumental performances are fine and the band's trademark electronic sound and Froese's unique guitar playing still add something special to what otherwise would look a rather aimless endeavour. The title track Force Majeure has a good number of different parts with some less sugary and more interesting sound-oriented interplays, so there is actually some composition going on, but to me the logic of the succession of parts is not so clear and the whole thing seems to be pieced together somewhat arbitrarily. On the other hand, Cloudburst Flight, the opener of side 2, is the most consistent track, and although one could complain about a lack of compositional substance here, this works well creating a peaceful atmosphere in the beginning with some acoustic guitar, from which it then builds up the more intense rock solo part organically to then end again on a peaceful note. Thru Metamorphic Rocks starts in an unmemorable soft rock manner, but then moves to a darker, less melodic, nervous sequencer-driven part that occupies the last 10 minutes. I've got to admit, setting out to review this rather negatively and remembering it as much too repetitive, that this strikes me now as pretty good, with well thought through exciting sound developments to which Krueger thankfully adds in a rather dynamic way instead of flattening things by a straight rhythm. It is also a good contrast to the rest of the album, atmosphere-wise.

So I actually had planned to give this two stars, but I think that the beginning and end of side 2 (which most people like less) in their nice contrast just make it 3. In any case, I still prefer the more risk-taking Cyclone and the more consistent Tangram over this one, which has its moments but also some weaknesses that I can't get around.

Report this review (#1575330)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars I always felt that Force Majeure, Edgar Froese's solo effort Stuntman, and Tangram were the transitioning of Tangerine Dream into the 1980s, moving away from the 1970s sound to a more modern, synthetic sound appropriate for the new decade. It has a lot to do with new, prototypical digital synthesizers like the PPG 360 starting to become implemented, and the Mellotron pretty much making an exit. Force Majeure returns to being all instrumental, once again, after the presence of vocals on Cyclone wasn't too well received (to me, it's not that bad, and rather underrated). Force Majeure was an obvious giant relief for fans. Like Cyclone before it, it flirts more with prog rock than most of their other albums, since Klaus Krueger (spelled Krieger on both albums) provides drums, once again. The title track is a side-length piece, really tripped out parts, but there are parts where Edgar's guitar playing takes on more a role, giving it that prog rock feel, but there's plenty of sequencer action to let everyone know this is Tangerine Dream. At the end, they go a bit more the pop-route with some polyphonic synth riff and something that sounds like a drum machine. "Cloudburst Flight" clearly shows a more '80s direction the band was going, especially that whistling synth lead sound you continue to hear even as late as Le Parc in 1985. "Thru Metamorphic Rocks" features the Yamaha CP-70 electric grand piano, and guitar, plus drums, giving it that prog feel, then the sequencers kick in sounding like it was lifted right off Edgar Froese's 1976 solo album Macula Transfer, making me know who was responsible for the sequencers here. The only Mellotron I seem to notice on this album is that brass heard on this particular song, showing that Edgar Froese was losing interest in the Mellotron, thanks to those new prototype digital synths like the PPG 360 creeping in. Yes, I can notice that '80s sound starting to creep in, but it still showed that Tangerine Dream was still capable of making great music, and it's worth having, but may not reach the heights of albums like Phaedra, Rubycon, or Ricochet.
Report this review (#1641010)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2016 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Having travelled through the discography of TD from their 1960s origins to this album, pretty much in order, and coming away surprisingly underwhelmed, I came upon this 1979 release and was completely sucked in. I love this! By far the most engaging and mature work of the band that I've encountered. Perhaps I am biased by my love of the Thief soundtrack (despite the album's ultimate song not being a TD performance), but I had long been a fan and frequent spinner of the "Encore" discs (especially the guitar-dominated Side Three epic, "Coldwater Canyon"). The sound on Force Majeure is just so much more forward, so much more surrounding and engulfing than many of their earlier works in which I always felt (feel) that I had to work so hard to enter, engage, and immerse myself into. Maybe its the more live sound of the drums, but I think it's the way the synth tracks are all finally mixed distinctly and forward. Also, the melodic constructs used here are much more dynamic whereas in older stuff the melodic shifting was so much more subtle, fluid, and gradual. This may not deserve a full five stars but for me it stands above their other acknowledged "masterpieces."
Report this review (#1705826)
Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars It was time for Tangerine Dream to move into the 80's and this album marks the start of that transition. The music continues it's melodic sound that was on the previous album, but without vocals this time. The main players of the band is down to two keyboardists, which is to be expected from an electronic band. But real drums, acoustic guitar, piano, cello and a few other surprises await us on this album.

It starts out with an 18 minute, side-long title track. Starting out with some nice atmospheric sounds and a pretty typical TD sound, things seem to be in good order. Then the rhythm kicks in. Many TD fans are okay with this, and at the time, this was a good move, but now in 2018, the keyboards sound very dated against the background of the band. At least that is how I feel it. The rhythm lasts for a while with the keyboards and a couple of breaks, but remaining somewhat unchanging except for a few times. When the rhythm eventually stops, things get atmospheric again and the dated sound goes away. The music gets quite pleasant here and doesn't seem old anymore. Again this lasts for a while, the drums join in again but with a different melody and atmosphere, but unfortunately, every time the drums start, things start to sound dated again. Now, a dated sound doesn't necessarily ruin things for me because I do love hearing a little Kraftwerk every once in a while and maybe even an old 80s band if I'm in the mood, but I can't seem to get into this as much as other TD albums. It sounds somewhat weak to me.

The 2nd side of the album starts with a 7 minute song called "Cloudburst Flight". A nice acoustic guitar and swirling keyboards sounds really nice and pensive. Keyboard bass starts to throb in the background, then turns into a repeating descending pattern while keyboards and electric guitars trade places with the melodic line and drums take on a midtempo pattern which is not overbearing. This is a much better combination than the title track when the rhythm section joins in. The soloing becomes quite impressive and heavy, which I find very enjoyable. Before the end, things calm down again and a nice whistle-sounding synth takes over. Really good especially for a comparatively short track.

The 3rd track is over 10 minutes long and is called "Thru Metamorphic Rocks". It starts off soft with piano and then increases in sound and intensity. Drums come in early on in the build and drive it forward and there are some nice sound effects crashing around. Soon the electric guitar takes over with another impressive solo. The chord progression becomes repetitive however for a while. Then the main melodic motif fades out while it is taken over by the synthesized sounds that I love TD for. This to me, is the best part of the album and more of what I would expect to hear from an electronic album. A rapid progression of notes continue in the background and establish a rhythm as synths improvise over the top with heavy sounds and no melody.

Overall, this is not a bad album, but I do have problems in the title track where things are dated and just too commercial for my taste. About half of that track is like that at different times throughout. The other two supporting tracks are more interesting to me and give the album it's saving grace. This is TD in it's progressive stage, but there are a few places where it all ruins it for me. Overall, I have to rate this at about 3.5, but the repetitiveness of the drums and bass patterns knock it down to a 3.

Report this review (#1936405)
Posted Friday, June 1, 2018 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars 'Force Majeure' is another of the more accessible Tangerine Dream albums in their massive catalogue. It was a sheer pleasure to have my ears stroked by such organic and warm rhythms. The sequencers form a wall of sound with digitised washes and Synthesizer swirls that entrance. At the 14 minute mark of the opening track there is a passage that captures my senses with beautiful atmospheric synths and a delightful chord progression. This closing section of the title track is simply outstanding and breathtaking on every listen.

Each track presents something fresh and dynamic and even after the album is over it somehow transfixes. I can still hear those rhythms and synths dancing in my conscious. The crystalline hypnotic patterns of sound effects on Cloudburst Flight the next track are captivating. It ends with Thru Metaphoric Rocks and a burst of ambience coloured by percussion and guitar. This is a completely different beast to the early TD experimental drone phase. I have experienced TD on many albums and this is certainly one of the more pleasant aural experiences. It is a decent starting point to those who wish to dip their feet into the deep waters of the TD back catalogue.

Report this review (#2120674)
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2019 | Review Permalink

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