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Jean-Michel Jarre - Révolutions CD (album) cover


Jean-Michel Jarre


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3.13 | 90 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars One good turn. . .

"Revolutions" seems to have become rather lost in the succession of JM Jarre releases, which is a pity as it is actually an album worthy of investigation. The title is a play on words, as the album is not about rotation but adopts a loose theme of various types of revolution and their effect on the children who endured them.

The 16 minute opening suite is a four part interpretation of the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. The opening section uses industrial sounds (that does not mean industrial music, it means hammers etc.!) to provide the rhythm. Jarre plays out various themes on synthesisers the general feel of the piece being appropriately cold and mechanical. There is something about the piece which sets it aside from Jarre's usual cinematic offerings, making it one of his finest works.

The first side of the album is completed by "London kid", a track which features the guitar of Hank Marvin (famous in is own right, and as part of 60's combo The Shadows). Marvin's trademark guitar offers a wonderful diversion from the coldness of the synthesiser, while the Bruno Rossignol choir adds some fine vocal colours.

Side two consists of five shorter pieces, which are firmly focused on the 20th century. The title track is an odd mix of ethnic influences (including Turkish flute and Muezzin chant) and computerised voices. The rhythms are straight from the floor of the disco, although not quite as frantic. Jun Miyake adds some interesting trumpet to "Tokyo kid" in another deviation from what might be expected. "Computer weekend" sounds distinctly symphonic, with strange synthesised voices drifting in and out. In truth though, it is the weakest track on the album.

"September" is dedicated to Dulcie September, an anti-apartheid activist who was assassinated in 1988. The ethnic rhythms of the track are brought to the fore to support the vocals of a Mali female choir. The album closes with "The emigrant", an anthemic piece with further contribution from the Bruno Rossignol choir.

In all, this is one of Jarre's most striking and original albums. It is good to see him moving out of his comfort zone, and exploring a number of territories unfamiliar to him. The results are in the main excellent with a few hidden treasures for those who appreciate Jarre's music, but who have overlooked this release.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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