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Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygène CD (album) cover


Jean-Michel Jarre


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3.91 | 339 ratings

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3 stars JEAN-MICHEL JARRE'S 'Oxygene' is a pleasant listen, and served (along with MIKE OLDFIELD'S 'Tubular Bells) as many people's introduction to extended instrumental music.

What JARRE does well here is exploit people's love for a series of rising notes. So liberally sprinkled through the first side (and Part 2 especially), are burbling sequences of rising notes, which lifts the emotions of those listening. Also serving to boost the popularity of the record was the novelty of many of the sounds, the stereo effects (ooh, the sounds go from one speaker to another like lasers!) and the simple hooks.

For me, what makes this a memorable album is the final track. Here JARRE demonstrates he knows what musical soundscapes are all about (not surprising, given his pedigree). After lifting us up for thirty minutes, the last 'movement' washes over us with a much more complex, melancholic sound, an exellent and dramatic counterpoint to what has passed before.

No one's favourite artist, JARRE can still be found in many music collections because he was their first point of contact for extended, symphonic music. The sound itself has dated badly (synthesisers in the 1970s sounded like bees fighting in a dustbin) but it still makes pleasant background music. And, in the case of the last track, an excellent listen.

russellk | 3/5 |


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