It's even more difficult to follow up to a difficult follow-up, and Jarre's third album has just slightly less power than "Equinoxe", which in turn had less power than "Oxygene". It's probably fairly low down the list of essential albums by Jarre. But it's still accomplished stuff, squeezing all sorts of sonic effects out of those contemporary analog synths.
It starts off in familiar territory with those Morse-code like sequencer octaves. He gets bored of that a few minutes through and it fades, not quite seamlessly, through a few minutes of ambient sound effects. A return to some good old bubbly sequencer action concludes this side-long piece.
The token synth-pop "single" in the manner of Oxygene 4 / Equinoxe 4 here is part 2, catchy enough but the formula is starting to wear thin. Part 3 is the most musically interesting, evoking some kind of mechanical spinning wheel in a trickling stream. I wouldn't be surprised if Susumu Yokota was influenced by this for his "Magic Thread" album 20 years later - this is electronic music that still sounds futuristic.
The album is concluded in a very odd way, with a cheesy Casio-style keyboard playing a vaguely French sounding tune to tinny preset beats. There was a similar section in "Equinoxe". I don't know what he was trying to say here, but this one reminds me of a local beggar who used to sit in the same spot every day, with an electric keyboard, playing random notes with one finger over the top of preset backings.
December 10, 2004