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Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 CD (album) cover




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3.68 | 175 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars My first experience with the music of VANGELIS, was through a cassette a friend gave me a copy of "Heaven & Hell" around 1980 , which I found amazing, I was sure I had found the successor of Rick Wakeman, who's albums were getting terribly boring, so immediately and without listening them, bought all his albums including "Albedo 0.39", which to be honest disappointed me because that was not what I was expecting.

But years pass and my vision of Prog grew wider and included other genres as "Electronic Prog" and after re-listening the album, really impressed me. Even though it's very far from my beloved Symphonic, the album is simply delightful.

The opener "Pulstar" is a typical VANGELIS track which despite the radical changes, flows perfectly from start to end with an outstanding and pompous percussion that fit as a glove with the dramatic keyboard solos and sudden explosions, just brilliant.

"Freefall" is a strange song, the intro sounds as played with Gamelan (Typical Indonesian set of instruments) giving a Cambodian or Vietnamese sound, but as in the previous rack, the strong percussion is a plus.

"Mare Tranquilitatis" changes again the mood of the album adding dense atmospheres that create a mysterious and Spacey feeling, works as a short interlude before the brilliant and incredibly complex "Main Sequence", which adds jazz as a new element in the mix, again Vangelis hits the nail in the head.

"Sword of Orion" is another interlude and creates a distance sensation clearly describing the constellation. Usually an interlude is followed by a powerful and strong song, but the introduction of "Alpha" doesn't give that impression, at least until it's obvious that the track is going in crescendo, with variations over the same theme but adding new instruments in each round making the finale breathtaking.

"Nucleogenesis Pt 1" starts...Baroque?...Well it's true and proves the versatility of the Greek composer and multi-instrumentalist who is able to change moods and even genres in fraction of seconds but always with an elegant touch. The second part of this track (Nucleogenesis Pt 2) is pure Electronic Prog where VANGELIS allows himself to leave the ties behind and make pure magic wit his keyboards, another high point.

Some people criticize the title track and catalogue it as a filler, but in my opinion is a necessary coda or epilogue where VANGELIS demonstrates the relation of this album with Space travels, the perfect closer for an excellent album.

Of course my favorite album by "Evangelos Odysseus Papathanassiou" will always be "Heaven & Hell", but "Albedo 0.39" will always have a place in my turntable, an excellent release that deserves no less than 4 solid stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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