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Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygène CD (album) cover


Jean-Michel Jarre


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3.91 | 338 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Sit back, close your eyes, and inhale the Oxygene

This review will certainly be a brief one.

In my experiences with electronic music and especially ambient-post modern music which features only a keyboard and variations thereof the results have been incredibly mixed. Many times these kinds of albums turn out incredibly boring and not worth listening to twice. Many ambient albums are served better as background music or as coasters than as demanding music for the proghead. Jean-Michel Jarre is an artist in a similar vein to someone like Vangelis in that he relies on a giant stack of keyboard sounds to construct and layer his music and give it life, the difference is that Jean-Michel can really liven things up with a catchy beat. Many songs on this album have a very distinct melody, but all have a similar flavor. The result is a very pleasing listen that by the end of side 2 you want to flip back over to side 1 and hear all over again. None of the songs can really be taken on their own, which is a nice thing about the album, it works only as a whole and any isolated track would just not have the same effect. Coupled with its brethren, however, it becomes a very good listen.

This album will likely lose its punch with most people after a good number of listens. The music is fairly undemanding and while it certainly is complex and enjoyable it's one of those albums that get discarded as the 'next best thing' rolls around in your collection, and then you look at it and think, ''man, I should dig that out one of these days''. It's also not a great album to listen to if you're ready to get smacked by something ripe with overly demanding songs, like, say an early Genesis album, but it certainly makes for something good to put on in the background while you're trying to do something else and concentrate on it while being fed some creative juice from music. It's thinking music.

The sound of the album is pretty distinct as well. Whooshing sounds abound over top a myriad of different synth sounds and melodies, nothing is overly soft or heavy and it makes for a very neutral disc that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. The songs all run together as the entire album is basically one 6-part suite, although each track enjoys its own charms which can really only be picked out if you're tuned in dead on the album, in which case it may become fairly boring. Best listened to with one ear, I suppose.

This album is a good listen and a good album, but not an essential classic that must be owned by everyone. Electronic prog fans and people who enjoy a lot of ambiance should probably make sure they have their hands on this album very, very quickly, but for the rest of us it's just a good, pleasing listen. 3.5 skully-Earths out of 5, recommended, but don't break any bones trying to find the album.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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