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Tangerine Dream - Underwater Sunlight CD (album) cover

UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT

Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic


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richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars An album that could easily be written off as 'New Age' with songs about whales and the like.Well fear not as Edgar Froese can play a mean guitar! Soundwise this is the most expansive Tangerine Dream recording utlising the studio to the fullest.'The Song Of The Whale' is one of my favourite instrumetal peices by ANY band.The melody,the textures the crescendoes, the beauty and grace of it.It's amazing how TD can capture the spirit and movement of The Whale so perfectly in a peice of music.Maybe the other peices are not quite of this very high standard but it's still emmensely enjoyable music.And as I said before listen to Edgear Froese playing a guitar and be impressed!

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Send comments to richardh (BETA) | Report this review (#32561)
Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1986's UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT is one of the stronger and more satisfying of Tangerine Dream's 80s efforts. At this juncture of the electronic trio's career, founder Edgar Froese and long-term member Christoph Franke had been joined by newcomer Paul Haslinger, who replaced the departing Johannes Schmoelling. The new lineup works well here, with Haslinger contributing not just the requisite synthesizers, but also some very feeling grand piano, as well as electric guitar to compliment that of main axesmith Froese. As on the terrific FORCE MAJEURE, Froese's trademark lead work looms large and majestic on much of this recording, imparting an emotional edge that is somewhat lacking on the majority of TD's output from the period.

The opening two-part suite, "Song of the Whale," is a standout. "Part One: From Dawn..." starts in a restrained fashion, then steadily builds to a crescendo, and features plenty of Froese's aforementioned lead. "Part Two: To Dusk..." admirably showcases Haslinger's talents on the grand, and is genuinely lovely -- the 80s Tangerine Dream are not content to simply "trip the listener out" -- they also create considerable beauty, with the power to make this fervent fan misty-eyed. Lead guitar is also notably present on this superb track, which, as its subtitle suggests, is evocative of a magnificent seaside sunset.

"Dolphin Dance," "Ride on the Ray" and "Scuba Scuba" are more straightforward, up-tempo pieces, which are much in the vein of TD's more accessible 80s numbers, but with the added bonus of more fine lead guitar on the first two. There is nothing especially challenging or earthshaking about these tracks -- just good, rhythmic electronic music that moves at nice pace, and which would make fine accompaniment for a marine nature film -- real, or imagined.

The album closer, "Underwater Twilight," winds down our aquatic foray in a stately manner, as we leave the gently swaying seaweeds and dozing dolphins to their watery repose. A most pleasant time was had by all during our sojourn in old Neptune's realm.

Thus, fans of the 80s incarnation of TD (which was earmarked by a focus more on structure and beauty, and less on the spacey and often scary sounds of their classic 70s albums) will want to check out UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT. The power and majesty of "Song of the Whale," with its soaring lead and soothing piano, is in itself worth the trip, while the remainder should not disappoint those fans who continued to enjoy the music of Tangerine Dream through the 80s. A fine album.

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#32562)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record announces the end of the Schmoelling-era (1980-1985): Johanness Schmoelling is replaced here by Paul Haslinger. The new musician definitely brings a new sound, very piano and floating New Age oriented. Underwater Sunlight is an excellent album, having a fresh New Age sound, absolutely not linear nor monotonous. The overall sound is absolutely crystal clean and rather echoed. Edgar Froese makes a brilliant return to form by playing excellent hard rock guitar solos and aggressive rythmic ones. The first side contains 4 short tracks, very accessible and addictive; there are some very good programmed drums. The second side contains 2 long tracks, VERY floating, fresh, having many pleasant percussive melodic sequencers.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#32563)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
gary.mur@tisc
5 stars For me nothing that TANGERINE DREAM has done before or since surpasses this brilliant and beautiful album. This was my introduction to the band, bought from "Gothic Image" on an early trip to Glastonbury - a perfect setting, and a whole new experience which I and my family shared and enjoyed on our journey back home. For me and I hope for you this truly is a "MUST HAVE MASTERPIECE"

GM JUNE 2005

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#36035)
Posted Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The exceptional work on this CD is THE perfect TD Resume. Underwater Sunlight shows you why Tangerine Dream is the BEST electronic-rock band in the world. I know; every single CD from TD is a Masterpiece, and, each one is totally unique. But this Masterpiece is everything: it is mystical, very emotive, magical, rhytmical, delightful, well structured, superb, melancholical, and crystal clear. This is a must to have for every TD fan an even for those of you who never had listened (I doubt that) TD's music. I can tell you; you can play this CD as many times as you want and you will never get tired of listening it. Enjoy. Must have: a MASTERPIECE.

END March 2006

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Send comments to eloquence (BETA) | Report this review (#70864)
Posted Wednesday, March 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A great return to form marked also by the arrival of Paul Haslinger to replace Johannes Schmoelling. What is significant about Underwater Sunlight is the combination of Edgar Froese's guitar work with the synth playing. He is such an excellent guitarist that you only wish he provided more of the same! However there needs to be a balance and Underwater Sunlight provides just that with delicate yet masterfully arranged keyboard and synthesiser work. The two longest tracks ( The song of the whale part 1 and two) are excellent but it is the shorter tracks that get the excitement going especially ' Dolphin Dance', what a great riff Mr. Froese! and Force majeure like ' Ride of the Ray'. Whilst it is commonly acknowledged that Tangerine Dream peaked in the early 80's the honest truth is that their material has always been of high calibre. Maybe electronic music got diluted in the 80's, 90's and beyond but what TD never did was stop experimenting and evolving. Underwater Sunlight is, excuse the pun, a real pearl of an album. Listen also to the genius like percussion on Scuba Scuba. A definite win win situation and a solid four star rating.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#176015)
Posted Thursday, July 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
MovingPictures07
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of the best later releases from these electronic prog masters, this one caught me by surprise!

1. Song of the Whale (Part 1)- Wow, this is fantastic! Wonderful, majestic guitar and keyboards make the atmosphere on this song very relaxing and you can envision the aquatic scenery. This is easily the best track on here. The structure is genius and the commanding mood is propelled with ease by Froese's fantastic guitar. 10/10

2. Song of the Whale (Part 2)- A continuation of Part 1, except this time with a more touching route in the emotion department, focusing on grand piano rather than darker, more water-sounding keyboards. The composition flows well from the previous part, and the atmosphere is beautiful in a different way but just as effective. 10/10

3. Dolphin Dance- This song, like the previous two, sounds like its title name. It has a similar water keyboard feel as the first song, which is pretty neat, but it's much more concise and upbeat. A good, almost dance-able track that has wonderful instrumentation, similarly to Cinnamon Road off of Hyperborea. 8/10

4. Ride on the Ray- This is a good track, but it may be my least favorite on the album because the repetition can get tedious towards the end with the main melody. It is very effective in mood, however, and wonderfully played. 7/10

5. Scuba Scuba- One great aspect of this album is that the tracks all really are so impressive at establishing their respective water-like moods, and this track continues that theme. I really like the theme of this one; it is relaxing and always reminds me of someone scuba diving and searching for treasure underwater. Neat. 8/10

6. Underwater Twilight- A peaceful and very effective closer that is, oddly enough, my favorite of all the shorter tracks on this album. Usually this piece gets overlooked, but it works as a perfect ending to this underwater journey. The beginning builds with soothing keyboards and choir tones until developing into a driving underwater anthem that has a really cool mood to it. The piano addition at the end assists your floating while you enjoy the sightseeing. 9/10

This is a really great Tangerine Dream offering that often gets overlooked because it is not exactly like their earlier work. It does feature fantastic keyboard playing all around and the atmosphere are definitely the album's strongpoint-they all are unique compositions that help you picture respective underwater scenery along your journey through the album.

An absolutely wonderful addition to your music collection, particularly if you want to explore the sea while multitasking or relaxing.

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Send comments to MovingPictures07 (BETA) | Report this review (#191674)
Posted Wednesday, December 03, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars An amazing album of Tangerine Dream. If electronic music is not my favourite kind of music, this album is special because have a great and melodic guitar, it makes me remember Pink Floyd in some parts, and a piano in some musics. I like the first, and second musics, sound of the whale part 1 and 2 and the last music Underwater Twilight, that have a very beautifull piano in the midle of this music. I like ritm of some parts. Very atmosfere parts and anothers very melodic. I like this album and these three musics are sufficient for i give 4 stars. A surprise for me, this work of this Germany band.

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Send comments to Joćo Paulo (BETA) | Report this review (#203432)
Posted Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
5 stars In honor of my 300th review for this fabulous site, it has immediately dawned on me that I need and wish to dedicate this critique to my dearest friend 'febus' aka Antoine, who tragically left us just before Christmas past, in another shocking medical screw-up that led to his passing. We are lessened by his silence but resolved in knowing that his reviews and posts are still available for all to see and admire. In our numerous PMs and phone calls, one rather hysterical irony was that even though I owned 33 Tangerine Dream albums , the one he loved more than any other and by far, was "Underwater Sunlight", a title I had missing in my anthology! So I hunted this omitted disc with impassioned fervor and what a masterful effort it is! In listening to it the first time through, I was immediately choked by the emotions of it all, providing a ceremonial soundtrack to Antoine's legacy, well known and documented by those who were blessed to read him or know him. New keyboardist Paul Haslinger does a prima job here, weaving effortlessly with veterans Edgar Froese and Chris Franke. "Song of the Whale pt1: From Dawn" awakens with restrained beauty, a rather evocative aquatic interpretation of the sea, punctuated by occasional squalls of crested guitars, swelling cascades of synthesized flourishes, leisurely swirling into tormented ebbs and flows. "Part 2: the Dusk" the weary inflections of a grand piano (yes, Herr Haslinger), meandering after a full day of extenuating crashing, swelling, bobbing and rolling manages to express the cyclical power of the majestic cetacean beast and its even wider watery expanse . A powerful Froese fret solo swishes through the haze as the glowing oceanic sun gently prepares for bed. "Dolphin Dance" is much more playful, in reflecting the porpoises joyful attitude, with flipping (sorry, couldn't help it!) rhythms, swift acrobatics and mischievous glee. "Ride on the Ray" seemingly refers to that diabolically unique ocean creature, the Sting Ray and provides the platform for another elegant display of Froese's guitar prowess, with mesmerizing synthetic rhythms adding movement to the flow, a spell binding piece that has immense melodic staying power. Chris Franke has always been the "rhythm" merchant and on "Scuba Scuba", he showcases his wondrous talents with some poignant electronic percussion, all subtlety and grace, while Haslinger and Froese drift about, wisps of synthesized splendor and brisk sophistication meandering gracefully. The title track closes out this magnificent marvel, certainly in the same league as chef- d'oeuvres "Phaedra", "Rubycon", "Force Majeure" and the live masterpieces "Pergamon" and "Ricochet". Henceforth, this gentle, elegant and unpretentious music has and for evermore will, conjure the fondest memories of a true friend, a musical companion and an eternal soul. 5 blessed Antoines .

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#204821)
Posted Sunday, March 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Many feel that this is the last great TANGERINE DREAM album. Hard to disagree. Schmoelling has just left to be replaced by the classically trained Austrian Paul Haslinger. While Paul didn't compose any of these tracks he certainly left his mark on this record, especially with his piano work. Anyway he seems to have ignited the creative juices of Froese and Franke and given them a renewed energy as well. A definite theme to this album with the "ocean" being the subject.

I have to say that the side long suite "Song Of The Whale" is possibly the best composition i've ever heard from this band. As tszirmay mentions in his review there is so much emotion, and the guitar work of Froese is outstanding. It opens with these electronic sounds as the guitar and a lush sound take over. The feeling you get is of the sun rising over the ocean and we can hear the sounds of sea creatures and water. This is so uplifting and moving. The guitar cries out 3 1/2 minutes in. A powerful soundscape before 5 1/2 minutes before we get some more amazing guitar around 7 minutes. Part two of this suite opens with grand piano then synths wash in around 2 minutes.The sequencers come in and this all sounds so beautiful until around 5 minutes when it turns bombastic. Guitar 6 1/2 minutes in before it turns soft and lush again 7 minutes in. The guitar is back ! This is so impressive. Even the way it ends with that powerful atmosphere.

"Dolphin Dance" features a beat with spacey synths. This sounds so good. Guitar before 2 minutes. The synths after 3 minutes sound like a guitar. The last three tracks are not nearly as good as the first three. If I was rating the first half alone it would be easily 5 stars. The tempo starts to pick up on "Ride On The Ray" before a minute. A good beat continues. Guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. Good tune. "Scuba Scuba" is spacey with a beat and seems a little uninspired to me. "Underwater Twilight" has this intro that I would describe as heavenly. It changes 2 minutes in as we get a beat with synths playing over top.

I really like the combination of electric guitar with electronics like on the later HELDON albums.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#219830)
Posted Thursday, June 04, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars For a change, the listener is brought into the depths of the waters while listening to this TD album!

For sure that a band like "Land's End" must have listened to this work profoundly? This is quite enjoyable music: ambient, smooth, "watered", personal and full of tact. We are far from these upbeats available during some of their previous (but still good) albums.

The usual TD fan can again get identified with this work and the brilliant second part of the song of the whale. What a nice musical experience by all means! While most of the prog giants we all love were releasing quite ambiguous material, TD were consistent and brave. Edgar on the guitar is again great.

I am not saying that this album is a masterpiece, but it offers so many pleasure to my old ears that I just can recommend it to you, prog lovers. Infinite exquisite like the sublime "Invisible Limits" are not featured on this "Underwater Sunlight", but the global feeling is rather on the positive side (even if "Dolphin Dance" and "Ride on the Ray" are too much "dance" oriented to my liking).

It is obvious that there are two distinctive parts in this album: a traditional one with the "Whale" epic and a more modern TD with the shorter tracks. I guess that you might know where my votes are going?

One can enjoy the depths of the sea with "Scuba Scuba". Mysterious, not too synthetic as the previous two tracks, this is again a fine TD piece. It offers these remarkable and so identifiable sounds I so much love.

And the closing number is another moving, relaxing and wonderful piece of music. The band is at their best and it is only a pity that this great moment doesn't last for a longer time. It clocks at a mere six minutes but could have been so well developed!

Seven out of ten is more than accurate but this rating is unfortunately not possible here. Therefore, I can only upgrade it to the four stars status.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#224277)
Posted Thursday, July 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
1 stars Underwater Sunlight is hardly any better then the two preceding albums, but still it is infinitely better then anything that came after it. The fact that this album has a higher average rating then pretty much everything from their 70-ties output is quite frightening. After all, apart from Song of the Whale part 1, all music is very docile. And even Song of the Whale doesn't survive too many repeated listens. No, I'd rather listen to real whales.

This is Tangerine Dream without a soul and without a hint of inspiration. As I described in my review for The Park, it sounds as if it didn't involve human beings anymore but was created by a clever computer program assembling Tangerine Dream tunes by the numbers. Especially Dolphin Dance, Ride On The Ray and Scuba Scuba are exercises in facelessness. All those tracks revolve around cheesy melodies, unbelievably tedious rhythms and inadequate drum sequencing. It sounds even worse then what any amateur could program in those years.

After this album I gave up on Tangerine Dream completely. It's a lifeless and uninspired mess for me. Style and no substance. I appear to be the only one of that opinion so, who knows, you may like it, but I would advise a few listens and even if you thought this sounds like a great album, I'd put on Stratosfear to prove you wrong.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#236732)
Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars The electronic music of TANGERINE DREAM is designed to slowly and seductively charm us listeners rather than bowl us over. Even their best albums are more sultry than aggressive. In fact, up until "Underwater Sunlight", only the anomaly of "Cyclone" really hits hard, even if its long lasting impact might be subject to scrutiny.

But here, from the opening notes of "Song of the Whale Part 1", we squarely face the rocky visage of TD, and crampons are recommended! The group has us scaling the heights and the depths of life as a whale, with dramatic flourishes aplenty and just the right degree of sentimentality. The acoustic and electric guitars dominate whole sections as they rarely have before in the TD canon. The theme is truly ahh-inspiring and with appropriate repetitive reinforcement, and the denouement is breathtaking.

Unfortunately, nothing else on the album comes close, even if Part 2 begins with lovely piano and boasts more skilled lead guitar work, and "Ride on the Ray" is an ambient delight with a hypnotic melody. "Dolphin Dance" is a fair educated guess as to what these cetaceans might do when the lights go down, or what they might have done in the mid 80s anyways! But the album closes weakly, with the charisma-free "Scuba Scuba" and the somewhat better but still dullish "Underwater Twilight".

Far better than simply treading water, "Underwater Sunlight" affirms Tangerine Dream's role as a progressive beacon in the sunspot year of 1986. 3.5 stars rounded up.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#244915)
Posted Friday, October 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars A pretty big upswing in the musical direction of Tangerine Dream. It's just a pity it didn't last. Everything that follows is worse than poor. Certainly their best effort since 1979's Force Majeure. It does all sound very 80's - but I really like all the treated guitars on this one. The production is excellent with everything sounding crystal clear. The first two tracks are definitely worthy of 5 stars, but things go downhill on side two where the tunes are more bland, two of which go in one ear and out the other. Song of the Whale however, in my books is a masterpiece, where the band for once show genuine emotion. I've heard around twenty five of their albums and I'd definitely say to beginners to go for 'Rubycon' or 'Ricochet' which are two of the best electronic albums ever recorded. The earlier you go with Tangerine Dream the creepier they sounded. This ain't creepy at all, but does sound very pretty and synthetic. However, it's far better than it's predecessor "Le Parc' which is very much 'hit or miss', full of four to five minute tunes, which do very little to me, or other reviewers, as I can gather.

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Send comments to Dobermensch (BETA) | Report this review (#268476)
Posted Friday, February 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars After getting my hands of Rubycon earlier this year, I made it my intension to further explore the work of Tangerine Dream. The first album I've been able to get a hold of since is Underwater Sunlight. Things have certainly changed in the decade between the two albums. As I am new to the band I was unaware that this is not an album from the classic line up and that it was made after thesupposedly golden "Virgin" years.

In addition the operational changes made by the band, their sound has also changed significantly. While Rubycon is a timeless masterwork, Underwater Sunlight is unmistakably the product of the 1980s. Gone are the smooth undulating rhythms and in their place you find a newer array of synthesizers, vocal sampling and wailing guitars and other "normal" instruments all wrapped up in an apparently more focused package. As a result, the album has a bit of a Pink Floyd flavour to it at times. It seems to me that these particular changes might be a result of the considerable number of film soundtracks that Tangerine Dream began to produce in the intervening time period.

I may not be entirely fair to compare Underwater Sunlight to Rubycon, a lot of time has passed between the two works. However due to the order in which I have chosen to listen to the albums, I'm bound to make the comparison. Of the two I am very much inclined towards Rubycon.

So this is a different beast in many respects. The best track on the album in my opinion is probably the lead track Song for the Whale part one. I am beginning to think that the "whale" is an intentional double entende. The guitars are present throughout. It is an engaging and adventurous track and at times does drive closer to the sonic landscapes of previous effort. The subsequent track, part two, bears little or no relation to its forbearer. It is a largely keyboard driven track with lots of cycling staccato. At its slower moments I think it best lives up the Underwater Sunlight concept. It is good at times and monotonous at others, especially during the extended guitar wailing. There is one point that I felt I was really enjoying the track only to have the unfortunate intrusion of the "chk-chk-chka" of Ferris Bueller fame barge in and level my enthusiasm. The best part of this track is likely the closing minute of so which does feel like a comparative blast from the past.

From the sprawling two parter we move into what seems like an 80s club hit of some sort, Dolphin Dance. It's defining feature is a bouncing rhythmic bass line supporting some more Floyd-esque guitar and plenty of soft 80s vintage keyboard effects. It's ok for what it is, but I wouldn't really call this terribly progressive or all that interesting. By the halfway point I already get the sense that I'm treading on old ground wish it would just move on. I think Dolphin Dance marks the nadir of Underwater Sunlight's listening experience.

Up next is Ride the Ray. The rolling repetitive bass makes a return and does give the feeling moving at high speeds. Like its predecessor it sticks pretty closely to its titular concept. It does seem repetitive at times. Musically I do like it a bit better than Dolphin Dance, but it is not a significant step up.

In spite of it's odd name and not exactly welcome use of synth drums, Scuba Scuba is possibly my pick for the next best piece after Whale part one. The drums aren't a major feature as they come in behind some spacey keyboard work which is much more the style of Tangerine Dream I know and love. If the mild cacophony of additional sounds could be stripped away from the main synth line think this would make another fantastic sparse piece in the vein of Rubycon. It has its flaws but I am certainly more in favour of it than not.

The fittingly titled Underwater Twilight is the other contender for second best track. It begins with a muffled synthesized chorus and a distorted ululating keyboard. All together it feels like something that Vangelis might have produced. As Twilight progresses, bass and drums enter the picture and eventually force the haunting elements to the back. As odd it is seems this piece may in fact be the most quintessentially 1980s of the bunch. And yet I still like it a good deal. I think the best decision was to use a keyboard as the lead rather than a guitar. It seems to fit better. There is a series of ascending and descending scales which occur in the final minute of the piece which mark its pinnacle.

As most of you may have guess Underwater Sunlight caught me off guard. I went in with what I would consider to be unrealistic expectations in hindsight. Tangerine Dream is still a fantastic group in my opinion, but Underwater Sunlight is simply not to my tastes. I would recommend this track to anyone who really likes the aesthetic of the 1980s. Otherwise it is only fit for diehard fans of the band. For anyone in my position I would suggest exploring other areas of Tangerine Dream's vast discography, before checking out Underwater Sunlight. I give it two out of five stars.

PS: Cool album cover.

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Send comments to R-A-N-M-A (BETA) | Report this review (#288015)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Probably one of the best TANGERINE DREAM release from the FRANK FROEZE HASSLINGER era, it's a fact that it sounds a bit eighties ( comparing to RUBYCON for instance ) but the production is good, not flashy, and the music is tasteful , inspired and adventurous, technology being used to serve music. For sure , the album peaks with the two parts of SONG OF THE WHALE with clever sequencer patterns , dazzling colourful guitar chorus and dreamy stirring piano parts. It's a contrasting and tasteful music for the mind even if not as weird and introspective as in early releases like ATHEM or ZEIT. Even if they don't peak the same level, the four other pieces are good too, DOLPHIN DANCE is a bit more mainstream but still with solid texture, RIDE ON THE RAY ranks among the best band pieces, still with guitar proeminence, SCUBA SCUBA displays a misty and iced landscape crossed by an hypnotic and infectious rytmic, and seems to end far too soon.UNDERWATER TWILIGHT concludes with a classical DREAM piece. This record is a good introduction for all those wanting to discover this unique and unforgotable band. I hesitate between 4 and 5 stars, i give 4,5 stars

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Send comments to jean-marie (BETA) | Report this review (#303880)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Underwater Sunlight, being from the '80s, is of course plagued by the cheesy new-age effects of electronic music from that era. Fortunately, this album actually integrates those elements decently with remaining slightly progressive. Obviously, this album isn't going to be anything like Phaedra or Rubycon, or even Cyclone or White Eagle. Underwater Sunlight is still commercialized '80s new-age music, with corny super-powered guitar playing to match (sometimes sound like rejected Top Gun anthems).

The spacey, cosmic, and dark atmospheric qualities of Tangerine Dream's classic material is long gone. However, for being as cheesy and poppy as this album is, it's still very convincing of an underwater atmosphere. So, that is the positive remark on this album: convincing enough underwater atmosphere. If that's what you're looking for, then this album is for you. But be forewarned, this isn't the dark, pulsing Tangerine Dream that is loved by most.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#439548)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I usually read reviews on Prog Archives to get hints about records/bands unknown to me. I read good ones and bad ones because I learned that most reviewers on this site tend to exagerate in both directions, so I try an "average" ideas approach. But then sometimes I read reviews about records I don't know of bands I really know very well. And this opus of Tangerine Dream is one of those. I stopped buying records of Tangerine Dream after Tangram, because the next one, Exit, made a terrible impression on me. So when I saw how high the rating of this one was I tought to myself: maybe I was wrong, after all. So I got a copy of Underwater Sunlight, and guess what? I wasn't wrong at all. This record is not prog. It's new age crap at best, but even in that field not a noticeble one. Moreover, this is not a Tangerine Dream record!!! In this site TD stand for electronic progressive. They made history researching electronic music and synths sounds. This one is made with japanese sounds of the eighties, electric guitar Pink Floyd style and piano. So my best description of this music would be " instrumental Alan Parson Project meets Clayderman" . I can understand that these guys back in time had to eat. And probably their families too, since they were no young anymore, but if they were not interested in research anymore, then why still use TD name!?!?! Many bands changed drammatically in the eighties, for commercial reasons mainly, and I had to live with that at tne time, I still do now. But I don't understand why many many bands on this site are treated like renegades for their work after the seventies, and other are not. I hope this is an excetion. My conclusion is: if you are looking for a Tangerine Dream record look away from this one, very very bad indications about their greatness of the past. If you like new age records, the ones you put on when you read or cook, then it's ok. But not prog, not TD and not good in any way, just average, avoidable music.

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Send comments to scandosch (BETA) | Report this review (#502857)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars I've seen one Earth Underwater.

The meaning of the above sentence is that Peter Bardens released his first newage fashioned album "Seen One Earth" in 1987 and this "Underwater Sunset" that's very similar in sounds and atmosphere is from 1988.

Yes, it's mainly newage, full of major chords and relaxing rhythms but respect to the Bardens' album it has an extraordinary good guitarist in Edgar Froese. The guitar's sound is not too dissimilar from the usual squared waves coming from the keyboards, but this is one of the few TD albums on which we can hear proper guitar riffs as in a rock album.

The only track that sounds totally Tangerine Dream is the closer "Underwater Twilight" that's repetitive and hypnotic like many of their older things, but all the album is enjoyable.

Of course we are far from things like Ricochet or Phaedra, not to mention the pink albums, but this is better than all the useless soundtracks released in this period. An excellent background for relaxing moments, as most of what is called newage plus with some highlights in Froese's guitar parts.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#527419)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | Review Permalink

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