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Tangerine Dream - Phaedra CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.17 | 823 ratings

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4 stars There is no genre I'm familiar with for which the infamous quote "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture" by...well, whoever you believe said it (I personally like to think Zappa) holds more true for me than (progressive) electronic music. Most often, for the groups I enjoy most, all conventions of song writing and structure are thrown out in favor of sequences, textures and epic length. Tangerine Dream's music is a prime example of this sort of music. There is no chorus, no verse, no refrain...what there IS is slowly changing patterns on sequencers, textures from mellotrons, sound from Moog, organ, etc. No words here, just patterns which can practically hypnotize listeners if they allow it.

Phaedra is the first released Tangerine Dream album to follow the band's infamous "Pink years," also known as the era when they experimented with sound, made more "avant-garde" electronic music, also known as the era of the group which many think is horrible (I, on the other hand, think those four first albums to be among the strongest of the band's career). Phaedra is also the group's first on a major label, with a major label's money, so we see the group expanding their arsenal of instruments, not to mention updating their music to have a more consistently structured sound.

The music on this album and its successor, Rubycon, is still very compelling and pleasing, but for me it lacks some of the adventurous spirit of the first four albums. For me, the band peaked two albums prior to this one (the absolutely stunning Zeit), but at least the first six albums are all wonderful. Four (and a half) stars from me for this one, as it's a consistently pleasing experience to listen to.

SaltyJon | 4/5 |


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