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Jean-Michel Jarre

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Jean-Michel Jarre En Attendant Cousteau [Aka: Waiting For Cousteau] album cover
2.98 | 83 ratings | 8 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Calypso (9:15)
2. Calypso, Pt. 2 (6:20)
3. Calypso, Pt. 3 (Fin De Siècle) (6:25)
4. En Attendant Cousteau (47:00)

Total Time: 69:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean Michel Jarre / keyboards, producing & mixing

- Guy Delacroix / bass (1)
- Christopher Deschamps / drums (1)
- Michel Geiss / keyboards (1-3)
- Dominique Perrier / keyboards (1-3)
- The Amoco Renegades / steel drums (1-3)
- Jit Samaroo / steel drum musical direction

Releases information

English title: Waiting for Cousteau

Artwork: Studio Pastelle

LP Disques Dreyfus - 843 624-1 (1990, France)

CD Disques Dreyfus - 843 624-2 (1990, France)
CD Disques Dreyfus - 843 624 - 2 (1991, France) Remastered (?)
CD Disques Dreyfus - FDM 36150-2 (1997, FRance) 24-bit remaster by Scott Hull
CD Sony Music - 88875046392 (2015, Europe) Remastered from original tapes by Dave Dadwater

Thanks to AndYouAndI for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JEAN-MICHEL JARRE En Attendant Cousteau [Aka: Waiting For Cousteau] ratings distribution

(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE En Attendant Cousteau [Aka: Waiting For Cousteau] reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Edited 09/09/06.

Not a very good representation for Jarre's usual sound though the opening "Calypso" suite works very well. It's a very varied and sometimes upbeat styling suite, notably on the first part of it, which is a uplifting steel-drum oriented track, though the last part is rather melancholic and sad. The second part is the best track on the entire album and is among my personal favorite Jarre tracks. The title track, a tribute to Jaques Cousteau, is in the ambient style and might not appeal to everyone though it's a relaxing and dreamy underwater journey that is best used as background music rather than active listening. I was a bit disappointed with it since it goes over the same all the time through the nearly 47-minute playing time, but it's overall a good ambient track. Jarre also used it as an intro for some of his concerts back in the early 90's as well as on the recent Gdansk concert in August 2005. It didn't sell as well as most of his other albums and it's far from beign his best release but it's a brave and interesting project for Jarre nevertheless, but I feel I can¨t give it a higher rating than 3 stars. "Calypso 1" and "Calypso 2" are the best tracks here, then followed by "Calypso 3" and the title track.

Defiently a recommendation for older JMJ fans, but newcomers to him should wait until they get more familiar to him. 3 stars.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Music for flora and fauna

In 1990, Jarre's search for a new theme took him to the West Indies and the world of Jaques Cousteau. Jarre is not the first to be inspired by Cousteau of course, a number of musicians have trodden a similar path, including the late John Denver. This album, which was released with the English language title of "Waiting for Cousteau", is the result of Jarre's working holiday.

Side one of this album is a three part suite named after Cousteau's boat "The Calypso", a name which predictably reflects the style of music of part one. Jarre calls upon the assistance of a steel drum band plus bass and drums for the suite, but the sound is still predominantly electronic. The second part moves into more orthodox Jarre territory, with a straight forward synthesiser rendition. Part three is slower with a funereal atmosphere. It would work well as background music for some of Cousteau's stunning films, but heard in isolation it is rather mundane. The addition of a real bass to the tracks does add a certain heaviness to the sound, the music though is somewhat predictable.

The version of the album I have is on cassette, so the running time of the title track is curtailed by 25 minutes to a mere 22 minutes (coincidentally the length of side one!). The piece actually has very little to do with Cousteau or the Caribbean, even being recorded in France. It consists of slowly altering soundscapes devoid of discernible melodies. Essentially, it is the sort of music you see on racks in ecologically friendly shops, the prime selling point being the relaxation qualities of the product. Once again, if you are watching one of Cousteau's films the music might complement it well, although in this case the subject would need to be of the flora and fauna variety, not the sealife.

This is very much an album of two halves. Side one is a largely predictable and traditional JM Jarre suite, while side two is a dreamy relaxation tool. In all, I found it to range from unremarkable to just plain boring.

Review by progrules
3 stars When I hear the name Jean Michel Jarre I will always associate it with Oxygene, a childhoodmemory to me, a true sensation too in 1976. But this man's carreer continued for many years before he came to making this album Waiting for Cousteau. I don't know everything about Jacques Cousteau, I occasionally watch his journeys with the Calypso on TV where he teaches us things about islands and countries all over the world. He is more or less legendary for doing this for many years and he probably inspired JMJ to writing music.

Is it right to keep comparing new works by JMJ with Oxygene ? Yes and no I would like to say . Yes because with Oxygene JMJ proved what he was capable of and to me that is a hell of a lot. But even his successor Equinoxe was somewhat less than the great debut so I'm afraid JMJ could be one of those artists who will keep trying to keep up with the very high standard he set for himself but will maybe struggling because of that. And there is also a No because every album is different and maybe an artist wants to evolve and change all the time and then it's probably not fair to keep comparing everything to one's debutalbum.

So I will leave that conclusion to the readers but if I like it or not, this question will influence me for the judgement of this album. Waiting for Cousteau is not very spectacular to me but that doesn't mean we are dealing with poor or disappointing music here. I believe this is less enchanting and compelling than Oxygene but it still is the true one and only Jean Michel Jarre. I was impressed when I saw the tracktime of the title track (46 min.) and in fact it proved to be what I already expected: it is a very steady track with a quiet build up. It's not the kind of track you will have to sit down for to have an intense listen to. Because not too much is happening but still I like it in a way. If you're in the mood for music like that then this is excellent. I myself for instance am not always in the mood for complicated music that attracts all your attention all the time. And then this is very suitable. The first three tracks are with more impact but also they are less impressive than his debut to me.

So here I am doing it, comparing a JMJ album to his legendary debut of 1976. Fair or not, it's what I obviously have to do without doing it intentionally. But no worry, this is still good enough for 3 stars to me.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This album is entirely "Cousteau" oriented.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a very well known French Oceanographer who released lots of films about the underwater life.

The first song, divided into three parts", refers to the name of the boat which was used by Cousteau to travel around the globe for his researches.

The pièce de résistance is the almost fifty minutes long title track which is a long and peaceful moment of electronic prog. Fine soundscapes, delicates keyboards for sure. But it probably lacks in texture, depths (!). It is really a tranquil piece of music which goal is nothing else than to bring us relaxation and help us meditating to reach the maximum piece of mind. I quite like it, but be warned: there aren't a lot happening here?

I'm not so enthusiast about some of the "Calypso" parts. The first one for instance sounds too much as a tropical combo dominated by marimba-driven sounds (even if provided by synths). It's OK while you're having fun on a beach but nothing else.

This album is not as solid as his earlier works ("Oxygen", "Equinoxe"; "Rendez Vous") but still delivers enjoyable parts. The almost techno-oriented "Calypso II" is not helping for sure.

Fortunately, "Calypso II" is more in line with the expectations of one listening to a JMJ album. It holds a nice melody and the bombastic and joyful mood is quite pleasant and optimistic.

In all, this is a good album but not an entry point if you want to discover the work from this artist.

Latest members reviews

4 stars "Water & air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends have become global garbage cans". - Jacques-Yves Cousteau Initially employed as a seductive prelude ... (read more)

Report this review (#220681) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Thursday, June 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars En attendant Cousteau is an album released by Jean Michel Jarre in 1990 and it is dedicated to the world of waters, particularly to the blue planetary ocean and to the oceanology. The music from this album can be easily split into two different parts: the 1st one, represen ... (read more)

Report this review (#194503) | Posted by Sachis | Saturday, December 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This album started so nice, but the title track "En Attendant Cousteau" (47:00 minutes) was a big disappointment! The Calypso-tracks are very nice, with steel-drums and nice feel. These makes me happy and are very exotic (not simple though). However, the last 47 minutes is different: Very ambi ... (read more)

Report this review (#78932) | Posted by 1971 | Sunday, May 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The Calypsos make this album worth mentioning, but there's really no excuse for the title track. It's stretching it even to call it ambient - on the cassette tape release it was cut from 47 minutes to nearer 23 minutes (no great loss, I might add), and it was still insufferable. Ah, but, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#55809) | Posted by | Thursday, November 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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