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Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream


Progressive Electronic

4.03 | 542 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars In case of disaster, save this one

What's that you say now? Prog Archives much esteemed and respected reviewer Peter R. has heard that a galactic disaster involving our planet is nigh. What's more, he recommends not only that we ensure that a Tangerine Dream album is safely on board our escape craft, but that "Force Majeure" should be the chosen album. Surely the advance party of aliens have got to our man and bumped him on the head? But wait, what are those magical tones I hear? Great Gonzos, I do think he's might be right!

My experiences of the music of Tangerine Dream are largely based on the synthesiser dominated albums "Encore", "Rubycon" and "Phaedra". Those albums have led me to believed that the Tangs make pleasant but undemanding ambient waves of sound. "Force Majeure" however shows the band in something of a different light.

The main difference (as I see it at least) is the magnificent guitar work. The band had shown themselves willing to experiment, and adapt their style on their previous album. The use of vocalist Steve Jolliffe on "Cyclone" was however by all accounts misguided, and he parted company with Edgar Froese and Christopher Franke thereafter. "Force Majeure" therefore reverts to being entirely instrumental, the line up being completed by Edgar Mayer on cello, and drummer Klaus Kruger.

The album consist of just three tracks, the opening title track occupying the whole of the first side of the original LP. It opens in typical TD fashion, with moody, ambient sounds before a distinct melody is picked out on piano. Lead guitar then assumes responsibility for the main theme, which develops through some wonderful passages to form some truly classic symphonic prog rock. The various sections of the track are linked by more ambient passages, but in all this is an extremely tight and focused performance by the band. Towards the end, the track even veers close to JM Jarre style synthesiser pop.

"Cloudburst Flight" is possibly even tighter, with more excellent guitar work on top of a keyboards base. The track is wonderfully compact, saying in 7 minutes what the Tangs would normally stretch out to around 20.

The final track, "Thru Metamorphic rocks" is a bit more traditional in TD terms. After the almost psychedelic liquid guitar sounds, synthesisers take over for an ambient, trance like section with howling wolf sound effects. This part is over long and repetitive, thus rather detracting from an otherwise excellent album.

Whether or not that intergalactic expressway ever gets built, (I understand the application for permission has as usual been lost be a planning department in the UK), a copy of "Force Majeure" should indeed be listed on the manifests of all escape craft, and brought out at regular intervals for checking.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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