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Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 CD (album) cover




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3.68 | 167 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of my all-time Vangelis favourite albums: this is a classical example of the most spectacularly epic facet of Vangelis' music constructed under the coordinates of electronic avant-garde, portraying some unmistakable similarities to the typical colorfulness of symphonic prog. In this album, conceptually inspired by space science and its struggle to continually explore the mysteries of the cosmic universe, Vangelis started experimenting with the Yamaha synthesizer, and in fact, this album features the presence and melodic lines on electronic keyboards very heavily. The opening track 'Pulstar' is both catchy and powerful. The successive entries of diverse orchestrated counterpoints allows it to keep an interesting vibe as its basic minimalistic motif goes on straight to its abrupt ending. The female voice that announces a time zone gives way to 'Free Fall', a brief dialogue of celeste and mesmeric synth layers that brings a relaxing air before the density of 'Mare Tranquilitatis' comes in. This latter track serves as a prelude to 'Main Sequence', an explosive showcase for Vangelis' virtuoso synth playing displayed over a jazz-fusion oriented rhythm pattern: the amazing bombast contained here is managed by the Greek maestro with absolute elegance, never letting it get gratuitous or futile. It is only accurate that such an explosive number fills a center space in the album's repertoire: it sort of creates a middle-term climax. As an effective contrast, 'Sword of Orion' portrays a sense of inscrutable melancholy. 'Alpha' (together with the opener, the two most popular tracks of this album) also brings some more melancholy, but this time, in a more clearly symphonic manner, full of exquisite orchestrations and adornments that gradually build an air of pomposity to the beautiful motif's deceitful simplicity. The 2-part 'Nucleogenesis' is another explosive number: starting with a solemn motif played on church organ (or a synth that sounds like one), it later turns into an overtly splendorous section that brings back the exciting bombast of 'Main Sequence' - here it is, another climatic point in this album. The namesake track serves as an hypnotic closure: dreamy keyboard layers pretty much a-la TD over which a narration takes place. I guess it is supposed to make it sound "more scientific". Anyway, this album is in itself a 70s gem of electronic music with progressive tendencies: the musical genius of Vangelis finds a solid expression in "Albedo 0.39", which turns out to be an excellent addition in any good prog collection.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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