Tangerine Dream - White Eagle

Album cover

  1. Mojave Plan (20:05)
  2. Midnight In Tula (3:58)
  3. Convention Of The 24 (9:34)
  4. White Eagle (4:34)

Virgin, 1982

also by Tangerine Dream:

see also... Jean-Michel Jarre, Tomita, Vangelis, Can

It would be harsh to say that the comparative length of the tracks was the only thing that varied between Tangerine Dream's early 80s albums. But while its sound might be predictable, "White Eagle" is one of their better efforts.

The side long suite "Mojave Plan" begins with spacious sound-effect splashes gradually coalescing. It's a relief when a fully-formed tune finally emerges above the sequencers after four minutes. It comes across as a piece of two halves, a sinister opening ten minutes and optimistic remainder. The second half has more rhythmic and sonic variety. Some nice sound effects are used here, including a distinctive "chaotic whispering" they used in other 80's albums, and some swirling samples of orchestra integrated into the texture.

"Midnight in Tula" is an entertaining bit of period instrumental synth-pop, Gary Numan or OMD style, with some sneer to its synth lead. An elegantly restrained one-chord sequencer bubble "Convention of the 24" takes up the largest portion of the second side. Guitar-like leads and spooky whistles are dotted around the place.

If you aren't impressed by the first three tracks, please don't switch them off before finding the gem at the end. "White Eagle" is one of their classiest pieces from this period. Its tingling harmonies swirl gently around a clockwork loop, before being joined by an inspired bell-like tune. A melody like this doesn't need to be developed any further, and it's merely repeated, with rich, tastefully varying arrangements.

December 9, 2004

7 out of 10

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