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Jean-Michel Jarre - Jean Michel Jarre in Concert: Houston-Lyon CD (album) cover

JEAN MICHEL JARRE IN CONCERT: HOUSTON-LYON

Jean-Michel Jarre

 

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3.33 | 33 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars The video of this concert was my first approach to JEAN MICHEL JARRE and I was simply impressed, the spectacular light show, the laser harp and the pompous music gave me a wrong impression that he could be the best Prog musician of the 80's, so immediately bought the album and honestly my opinion changed radically.

One thing is watching the show and another totally different is listening a CD because you immediately notice most of his music is mostly repetitive mainstream electronic collection of songs with a great show.

The opening from Oxygene V shows what Jarre pretends when the music is interrupted by several Houston TV announcers talking about "A spectacular laser, lights, fireworks and..music show", and that's mostly the album, a soundtrack of a show, the bit of music behind the announcers voice is too short to give an opinion of the song.

This intro is followed by "Etnicolor", a long boring display of vocoder and sound effects with a bit of music, there's a point in which I feel the need to use the CD as a Frisbee, the final section is some kind of Techno Pop with a pompous backup covered by the repetitive babbling and more sound effects, but the last three minutes are a bit more interesting somehow in the vein of the Blade Runner soundtrack but with less originality and interest.

"Magnetic Fields" starts better, at least there's music and a nice keyboard work but then again the Techno Pop appears to ruin what started absolutely promising, he plays with two or three chords repeated ad nauseam, better than the previous but still nothing great or even good, except for the chorus, the guy makes good arrangements but nothing solid in the composition field.

"Souvenir of China" presents a nice and dramatic melody surrounded by more (guess what?).sound effects, but at least he adds something solid, good without being spectacular.

"Equinoxe V" is a catchy tune with a great sound and capable arrangements, by this point it's clear we're not going to get much Prog Rock but in this case the song is more than average and maintains the interest of the listener, the best track at this point even when remains being a bit repetitive.

"Rendez.Vous III (Laser Harp)" starts with the voice of John Paul II blessing and it's followed by a simple but interesting melody, when you watch the show is much better because the presentation is spectacular but sadly we can't notice this on a CD, despite this fact a nice track.

Now is the turn for "Rendez-Vous II", central piece of the album, starts with a long, pompous and beautiful introduction where Monsieur Jarre proves that when he wants he can make really good music but this gets better, around the third minute a wonderful and delightful chorus appears from nowhere and finally were before something worth listening, who cares of the sound effects with such great music.

When the chorus stops, the music goes "in crescendo" in strength and quality until suddenly after a short display of voices the music turns slower but extremely dramatic, at this point gets a bit repetitive but the main theme appears again with full orchestra with the chorus joining them, simply outstanding track that proves he's also a good composer but sadly seems uneven.

The next track "Ron's Piece" originally written to be played by the astronaut Ron Mc'Nair in space but after he tragically died in 1986 Challenger's explosion it was recorded with another sax player and dedicated to the crew, a nice and meaningful song but again boring.

The album ends with "Rendez-Vous IV" a catchy and happy tune for people to clap and dance with a lot of sound effects almost like an encore to please the crowd, entertaining but nothing more.

If all the material was like "Rendez-Vous II" I would rate the album with four stars, if it was mixed with songs like "Rendes-Vous IV" and even "Ron's Theme" the rating would be not higher than three solid stars, because despite not being anything special you find music, but the first part of the album is simply poor.

I can't rate "Houston - Lyon" with more than 2 stars due to the reasons expressed in the previous paragraph, now if you give me a DVD of the presentation, the rating would be a bit higher being that I should also comment visual part which is spectacular.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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