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Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene 7-13 CD (album) cover

OXYGENE 7-13

Jean-Michel Jarre

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Bjarne@nyatid
4 stars This album is really Jarre re-connecting with his first two commercial albums 'Oxygene' and 'Equinoxe'. He use a lot of the analogl gear used on those two albums and mix them with modern digital equipment and beats.

The album kicks off with Oxygene (part 7), a long piece divided in three parts. a simple melody backed up by the famous eminent/smallstone mix (Phaserstrings), a bouncy baseline and latinrythms is making up the first part. It's easy to hear the connection with 'Oxygene 76' and the sound is so clear and well-produced.

Next track is a pure pop-technotrack with a fine production and of course the first single of this album. Many of the sounds here are made by the Nordlead but Jarre has really made it sound warm wich makes it fit very good together with the Eminent and Mellotron.

Oxygene 9 is a re-visit to Oxygene part I and it's made up on a floating pad as a base. I don't find this track as good as the rest. But it fits in the concept.

Oxygene 10 is theremin and bubbling sequencers (Raven and ARP2600) all the way. A very smoothsounding track with a haunting beat. This was the second single from the album and it's easy to understand why when listening to it.

Next track is Oxygene 11 and this is a trancetune with a very impressive intro made on the Nordlead. There are a lot going on this track and many of the sequences are made on his rare additive synth, the RMI Harmonic Synthesizer. A great production.

Oxygene 12 is also a weak spot on Oxygene 7-13 in my opinion. But I do like the leadsound wich is played on the famous beast Yamaha CS80.

Then at last we have Oxygene 13. This is really a farwell-track with a lonely Eminent backed up by a beatbox (really a KORG i4S). A very beautiful and moving piece.

This is a great buy if you, like me, are having a hard time liking his latest albums from Metamorphoses and so on.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#46670)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As seen on PBS. That's what the sticker on the disc case said. Not "the brilliant followup to his 1976 masterpiece" or "featuring the hits Oxygene 8 and 10," but simply "as seen on PBS." It's not even clear how it appeared on PBS. Maybe it was part of a new space series (like Carl Sagan's Cosmos), maybe it was only advertised on PBS, or maybe they were giving it away during Pledge Week because they ran out of canvas tote bags. Since we can't count on stickers to do our homework for us, here's the skinny on Oxygene 7-13. It's not a followup to Oxygene so much as the slightly celestial confections Jarre has been peddling since Les Chants Magnetiques. Not groundbreaking stuff by 1997's standards, but rather the sort of new age space music that Jarre helped pioneer and TD later plied. The sounds seem a little trite for space: splashes, whooshes, and the sort of gimmicks Steve Miller was using back in the '70s. While artists like Vangelis and Tangerine Dream clearly influenced the club/house music scene, they didn't embrace it like Jean Michel Jarre. A lot of Oxygene could have come from any number of nondescript house mixers, which you might see as a case of clever adaptation or an unfortunate bit of slumming. Note that I listened to the original Oxygene and couldn't find any thematic similarities between that and this new disc. There are familiar moments, like the bossa nova beat behind the closing "Oxygene 13," but again the precedent there is Chants Magnetiques. If you enjoy Jarre when he's clubbing things up, then you may find Oxygene 7-13 to be a breath of fresh air. Or you may have already had your lungful with Revolutions. I'm not entirely comfortable with the way artists like Jarre and Tangerine Dream exhume old victories and put a new spin on past accomplishments. Twenty years on, no one was really holding their breath for a followup to Oxygene, and the pretense to a sequel may have been no more than efficacious marketing. It's certainly a pleasant ride, nearly as much fun as Optical Race, but Oxygene 7-13 is not one of the first five Jarre albums you should own.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#47565)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Jarre's first international album, "Oxygene", was a worldwide success, selling several millions of copies to this date. Jarre soon became one of the pioneers of electronica music and released several musically excellent albums after "Oxygene". This album was it's follow-up, seven studio albums and 20 years after, and can also be concidered as a modern reincarnation of "Oxygene" since the music often displays several similiarities between these two albums. While not as musically interesting as "Oxygene" this one still stands as one of my absolute favorites by him and undoubtly his best work after "Chronologie" (released in 1993). The production is clear and warm and the songs are often dominated by Jarre's usualy melody patterns, without sounding clichèd at all. It's a great album overall and will always be one of my top releases by him. 4.5/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#57156)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The gas man returns

Mike Oldfield has over the years successfully exploited the "Tubular Bells" brand through the release of a number of similarly named albums (TB2, The Millennium bell etc.). Here, Jean Michel Jarre attempts to piggy back on the success of his best known work through the creation of this belated follow up. With over 20 years between the two releases, technology has moved on immeasurably in the intervening period; it is therefore perhaps surprising how similar the two albums sound. By and large, the tracks on this album could easily have come from the original Oxygene album, the only really noticeable difference being the crystal clear quality of the production.

The opening "Oxygene 7" (the tracks have exciting titles ranging from "Oxygene 7 to, yes that's right "Oxygene 13"!) is a three part suite running to over 11 minutes. It has the same basic rhythm as "Oxygene part 4", thus offering the familiar feel of a comfortable pair of slippers. The latter part of the track sees the rhythm yielding to washes of synth and sundry spacey sounds.

There after we have a succession of 4-5 minute tracks which are sufficiently like those on the original album to justify the shared name, while simultaneously avoiding simply being re-recordings. Some parts work better than others. Part 9 for example has a tendency to come across as clumsy and unfocussed.

The latter part of the album, especially part 11, has distinct similarities with "Rubycon" era Tangerine Dream, although the themes are not developed as fully as the Tangs would do, and the overall sound is kept strictly accessible.

Those who enjoy the original "Oxygene" will be guaranteed to enjoy this album, the similarities are far greater than the differences. The irony is that whereas the original "Oxygene" was pioneering and new, the intervening years mean that this album is retrospective and sounds rather dated.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#153112)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The title of this album is somewhat misleading and would have gained in more credibility (but not marketing wise) if called "Earth, "Moon", "Heaven" or you can name it!

What's for sure is that the music is quite pleasant and enjoyable. Dynamic as well, which is not a feature that I demand specifically while listening to prog electronic music to which this artist fully belongs.

Pop sounds are also available, but no sell off here: the artist provides fine combinations of upbeat music combined with skilled keyboards lines. The man is skilled and gifted. As a composer as well as on the keyboards.

My fave because the most spacey mood is with no doubt the ninth part of this "oxygène" we all need to live. Bombastic, elegant, melodic, organic, fantastic and splendid. In one word: gorgeous. The highlight as far as I'm concerned.

There are some parts which could have been skipped ( like "10") but this is a usual stuff, right? If all tracks are outstanding, we should be confronted with a masterpiece which is not the case with this album (at least, it is my opinion).

If I can give one piece of advice: just stick to the original name and don't concentrate on this one. It holds some good moments, modern and upbeats parts ("11"), but the grandeur of the glass mastering is not there.

Three stars. A good album for sure. Like most of JMJ's output.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#258863)
Posted Friday, January 01, 2010 | Review Permalink

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