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8 Reviews
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ground-breaking but patchy, 25 Jan 2009
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Les Chants Magnetiques (Audio CD)
For Jean Michel Jarre the turn of the 1980's was a very busy time. Equinoxe was a huge worldwide hit and he had just played his first mage concert at the Place de la Concorde in Paris to a million ecstatic fans on Bastille Day 1979.

The following year was the one where the next album's planning began and the neotiations began for the historic tour of China in late summer of 1981. China would see a fair amount of new material released to the public, including much of this album, released just a couple of months before.

Following his massive success, JMJ was targeted by Fairlight and, along with Peter Gabriel, was one of the first to use their equipment in anger. It's perhaps why this album feels a little unfinished in some places; there had not been enough time to explore the capabilities of the kit fully, only scratching the surface. It probably isn't until the legendary Music for Supermarkets and the magisterially good Zoolook that the full fruits of working with the Fairlight would be seen and heard.

This is not to say the album is bad: far from it. It is something of a pioneering work and has echoes of Jarre's past in Musique Concrète. The original album and cassette divied into two parts: the first was Magnetic Fields Part 1, which took up the whole of side 1; the second was the remainder. On a CD this division sort of disappears and changes the flow just a little.

Part 1 feels like several ideas stiched together. Some of them are stronger than others, particularly the urgent pulse of the opening section. Perhaps the most famous piece of all is Part 2, with its bright melody line and handclaps. It finishes with the background noise of trains, which ties this to both MFS and Zoolook a little as a recurrent theme. Part 3 is somewhat forgettable, Part 4 is a rather nice mid-tempo shuffle with hints of the aurora flickering in and out of life, punctuated by a solid pulsing bassline. The album finishes with Part 5, a rather melancholic rumba.

After what had gone before some have said that this album sounds a little sterile in comparison to the organic warmth of Oxygène and Zoolook. They do have something of a point to be honest, though Part 2 is really quite wonderful and is up there with the very best of his work (it's pretty much what tipped me into giving the album 4 stars). It's an album that perhaps is more to be admired than loved.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good, but showing its age in places..., 15 Sep 2006
By 
DSR (out beyond the sticks) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Les Chants Magnetiques (Audio CD)
The one track that stands out for me is part 4. Some great sequencing here (these current "virtual" versions of classic synthesisers are all very well, but you can't beat having the actual "tactile" instruments (with real sliders and knobs!) in front of you) and a great, simple melody to go with it. The ending of this track played LOUDLY on my HiFi used to make my guests jump......:-)

There are a few too many JMJ cliches here (and an AWFUL last track) and this has dated this album somewhat in my view. The production though seems very "clean" and open.

Well worth a listen and one of the last electronic albums of the "analogue synth plus sequencer" era.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally absorbing, 30 July 2013
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This review is from: Les Chants Magnetiques (Audio CD)
Had this jean michel jarre album on record, which had a whole host of scratches on. This album remains high in cost in music stores, saw it on amazon and was happy with the cost. This album along with oxygen remains remains personal favourite of mine. The music flows harmoniously and sounds as fresh and modern today as it did when first released. The cd arrived quickly and was in excellent condition
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5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting and relaxing, 29 Aug 2012
By 
P. Long - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Les Chants Magnetiques (Audio CD)
I had heard some of these many years ago on a cassette of 'the best of' and it is really good to have them on CD in a remastered form that makes use of 24-bit technology. The sound of this album has dated, but that is only because synthesizers have developed a lot since then. The final chant reminds me of Sheffield's singer/songwriter John Shuttleworth, because of Jarre's choice of drum machine, so that is a bit of (unintended) fun.
Seriously, there is much to like about this album and it is well worth buying.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairly unique in the Jarre catalogue, 25 Jun 2005
By 
Mr Paul Savory (Wrexham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Les Chants Magnetiques (Audio CD)
If you've heard Jarre's 1st album (I don't mean Oxygene, his 2nd album)then take the feel of some of the tracks off that.
This is a short album 36 minutes approx. It is atmospheric BUT not in the same way as Oxygene & Equinoxe. Those 2 were very "earthy" and "airy" (both 5 star recordings) but this is very electronic. Possibly somewhat dated now (I can't judge that because I've loved this album for 20 years). So different to any other Jarre album, not as arty as Zoolook (his next release and again a 5star album).
This is a very listenable album but for me I always miss off the Last Rumba. For me it is out off place on this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magnetic Fields delivers a true electronic journey of fine musical pieces that only he knows how to do, 2 Aug 2014
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This is another of my favourites from the French keyboard maestro, Magnetic Fields delivers a true electronic journey of fine musical pieces that only he knows how to do. If you Oxygene and Equinoxe then this is a great follow on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Aug 2014
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Finally upgraded from Vinyl...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Music,shame about the skipping between tracks, 28 Jan 2013
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As always with Jean Michel`s early stuff it`s mind blowing music.
The only problem with these sort of Albums is that each track should flow from one to the next with no gaps,
But these Album downloads have a slight delay between each track,this could of course be my Kindle that`s causing it.
Very annoying though,and happens with Mike Oldfield Albums as well.
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Les Chants Magnetiques
Les Chants Magnetiques by Jean Michel Jarre (Audio CD - 2007)
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