|1. Oxygene 7|
|2. Oxygene 8|
|3. Oxygene 9|
|4. Oxygene 10|
|5. Oxygene 11|
|6. Oxygene 12|
|7. Oxygene 13|
As from part 10, this album, to my taste, goes downhill. True, the musical experience of these tracks can be overwhelming, but they never meet the same degree of inventive discipline or subtle transistion and colour found in the first parts of this album. Part 10 is most disappointing, I consider it one of his most cheapest achievements which quite spoils the momentum created in the previous parts. Part 11 and 12 are of a very lively nature, with sizzling synths and effects, but again I miss the control and soul Jarre brought to the beginning of the album. Part 13 is a sentimental and quite decent conclusion which reminds me of the last part of the original Oxygene.
Summarised... is this his best achievement? No it isn't. With the exception of the second half of this album, he creates a world of music and suggestion that quite outranks his achievements made in albums such as Chronologie, Revolutions and Rendez-Vous.Read more ›
It is much more than a tired rehash of Oxygene, there are a lot of new ideas and new ways of hearing old familiar sounds and moods from the original album. The first two tracks are just amazing to hear, tantalizingly like bits of the original. The rest of the album is well worth hearing, too.
My only gripe - well, I would have liked something more in the sleeve than a lot of artwork and a list of instruments and who helped him out: perhaps something about why and how he decided to return to his roots here? And I hope this album's success isn't the only excuse for Oxygene 14-20: if he does it, it has to be different again or it's not worth doing.
The sound quality on this new version (or continuation, depending on your point of view) of the original old master is fabulous. With its 24-bit mastering, and its lush, analogue textures, augmented by fresh digital samples of real-world sounds, this work comes across as a fully up-to-date and more mature rendition, whilst remaining entirely faithful to the original idea. (Edgar Froese, please take note!) I particularly liked the passing nods to other (more serious) contemporary French composers, like François Bayle. Sure, the album has commercial exploitation potential in plenty. But then, we live in an age of exploitation and, hey, an artist has to eat!
My only criticism of this release is of its length. Really, in this day and age, there is no excuse for releasing a 40-minute CD. That apart, as a J-M Jarre classic, this album really cannot be faulted - whether or not you were a fan of the original. If you have the original, this release complements it nicely.
Sadly this "follow-up" release from 1997 pales into insignificance... Read more