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Tangerine Dream - The Seven Letters From Tibet CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic

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5 stars With "The Seven Letters From Tibet" Tangerine Dream took everyone by surprise. Since the mid nineties their albums had all been influenced by the dance/club scene with the emphasis very much on rythm and the last thing anyone expected them to do at this point was a tranquil,serene,symphonic,beatless concept suite. So in the time honoured TD tradition of doing the unexpected, that's precisely what they did. Once again they re- invented themselves and "The Seven Letters From Tibet" sounds like nothing else in the TD canon. It's the closest TD have come to the dreaded term New Age but that would be an erroneous assessment of this album. It's feel and compositional structure owes much more to classical music than to the blandness of New Age and even though it has an ethereal beauty to it,there's nothing anemic or anonymous about this music. It's identity and integrity is very strong and makes it quite clear that,while the music is tranquil and beautiful,it's not meant to lull you to sleep but instead affect a kind of spiritual awakening. The actual concept has to do with Tibet obviously and even though there are liner notes "explaining" the concept (something about an extra dimension of reality that one can only enter spiritually) it's more than a bit hazy and difficult to grasp,but that doesn't really matter. In fact,that it is vague is one of it's strengths since then the listener is allowed to infer what he/she wants the music to convey,rather than being tied down to a concept that doesn't allow for the listener's own imagination to play a part. And with song titles like "The Long Distance Blue" and "The Purple Of All Curtains",imagination definitely plays a part in appreciating this album. "The Seven Letters From Tibet" is not only my favourite TD album but one of my favourite pieces of music of all time,I don't hesitate to call this the most beautiful music I have ever heard and it has almost spoiled me for "lesser" albums,most music falls through in comparison with this jewel of an album. It stands out in my cd collection like nothing else and it has further convinced me that in Edgar Froese we have one of the few geniuses in modern music.
Report this review (#32584)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars My second TD album listening from '90s onwards. "Goblin's Club" I find quite enjoyable and Jerome's drumming is excellent in many tracks. So I hoped to enjoy this too. Edgar and Jerome Froese are the only musicians in this release, both playing keyboards only. One thing is clear, this is closest to New Age TD has ever gone. And sadly, there's not much to add. Relaxating, harmonic, serene, tranquil, etc etc... I've heard dozens of New Age albums that aren't any worse than this. That actually sound exactly the same. Also, I have heard many New Age albums that are more interesting and original than this one. What a waste of talents. I do expect more from Tangerine Dream (who are apparently running dry somehow. No wonder, with so many decades and dozens of albums behind).
Report this review (#32585)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars A surprising change of style for Tangerine Dream, because at this point the 'father and son'-incarnation of TD has established their position as a very rhythmic and melodic modern electronica band. Suddenly they decided to make this ambient, almost New Age-ish all keyboard album of a very serene nature. It's still not quite a return to the Zeit-days, as there are no cello quartets or vintage keyboards to be found here. Still; this album is quite enjoyable as it's relaxating and calm in a very natural way. Maybe this was the little break TD needed before starting to work on their next brilliant work, the Dante trilogy. Nothing groundbreaking, new or innovative and not quite what you expect from one of the best bands in the world, but still a pretty good album. ***
Report this review (#55958)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars First TD album from the naughties. The father and son duo are again on the command (as usual by now).

The good news (as far as I'm concerned) is that the dance beats are totally alien to this album. While listening to the opening song ("The Red Blood Connection") one could almost think that this is a lost piece from the eighties! Ambient, melodic, peaceful and very quiet.

The bad news is that this album sounds too much of the same really, and that after "The Golden Heart", one has the impression of a never ending and repeated song. Still, this album has its good moments like the long (according the new TD standards of course) "The Blue Pearl". There again, some moments of brilliance can be experienced and are welcome at this time of the listening. The highlight by all means.

What's left is pleasant music but somewhat airport or supermarket oriented. Except the short and closing "Purple of all Curtains" which conveys again a very nice and enjoyable feeling.

I am quite conservative in my rating. There are some dedicated and true TD parts which are excellent, but other ones are quite basic and shouldn't be featured on a "Tangerine Dream" album.

Three stars.

Report this review (#242543)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars While TANGERINE DREAM's previous album "Mars Polaris" was dynamic and spacey, "Seven Letters from Tibet" displays a musical landscape then new for the band. There are hardly no rythms, few melodies and no pulsating sequences. No rock, guitars or upbeats either, as opposed to what they were proposing during the past decade. Just 7 ambient, smooth songs, or "letters", as the album title suggests. However, the quality is here, the inspiration impulse of "Mars Polaris" has not fallen back.

You may have noticed the track-list represents rainbow colors. The overall is an ideal soundtrack for relaxation, as it is very slow, atmospheric and intimate. Sometimes it includes asian sonorities and themes, sometimes the atmosphere is more mystical, like in "The Indigo Clouds", which have reminiscences of POPOL VUH. Another good point, the sound is more modern.

The least interesting tune is unfortunately also the longest, "The Blue Pearl". Its final part is a reworking of a track released earlier, "Lhasa" from the "Quinoa" re-release, which was also the weakest moment of this EP.

A promising entrance in the 21th century for the duo, "Seven Letters from Tibet" is an unexpected pleasant surprise. Pretty, soft, relaxing music, in a quite different style from the other TANGERINE DREAM compositions, check it out.

Report this review (#1541063)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2016 | Review Permalink

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