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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so much of a departure
Those of you expecting an album like so-called "classic" Jarre should probably move along, because this most certainly is not it. It is more, however, like 2003's Geometry of Love or the more experimental Sessions 2000. Whether this is a good or bad thing is very much open to interpretation. I happen to (mostly) like it so far.

It certainly isn't an unalloyed...
Published on 29 Mar 2007 by ds

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So, so far from Jarre's 'genius' best, but naggingly addicitive.
I still consider myself a true fan of Jarre's, but I truly feel he has lost his way since Metamorphoses, and while this is a partial return to form, there is still a considerable distance to cover before Jarre wins my full respect in him as an artist.

I have to say that I find it incredible how many five star ratings there have been for this album - without...
Published on 9 May 2007 by Shady Ady


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So, so far from Jarre's 'genius' best, but naggingly addicitive., 9 May 2007
This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
I still consider myself a true fan of Jarre's, but I truly feel he has lost his way since Metamorphoses, and while this is a partial return to form, there is still a considerable distance to cover before Jarre wins my full respect in him as an artist.

I have to say that I find it incredible how many five star ratings there have been for this album - without wanting to sound harsh, that's just blinkered fan-boy optimism in my opinion. It's far too simplistic in its overall tone to be hailed as a work of genius, especially as it is rather lacking when it comes to the quality of compostition that I've come to expect of Jarre - this was my first real gripe with the album, and it still remains the case. He really could have done so much better - as it is the album feels like it was rushed, with very little care involved.

The same was true of 'Geometry Of Love' - a work of staggeringly cold banality. But at least 'Téo & Téa' has a spark of zest about it. But that alone does not a great album make - a truly great Jarre album has heart, and there is precious little of that in evidence here. Also, much of the instrumentation he has used sounds cheap and nasty, with out-of-place samples dotted about unnecessarily. Too many of the songs sound dreadfully sparse from a compositional point of view, something I am not particularly keen on. Minimalism is not what has been employed here, rather a lack of ideas or inspiration. At times the album is just plain ordinary, and calling it 'bland' would be doing it a kindness. But on occasions it does partly redeem itself - the title track and 'Vintage' for me are the two key standouts, and though fairly sparse in structure or depth, they do have a tremendous appeal. The title track alone is at least a return to Jarre's more energetic works of old, even if the melody is somewhat lacking. The same applies to 'Vintage', probably by far the best track on the album, and while it is yet another 'dance' influenced number, it posseses an aching beauty to its melodic core that I've not felt from Jarre's music since some of Metamorphoses' more haunting melodies. That said, this album is far from comparable to 'Meta' or indeed 'Zoolook' - now THERE was evidence of a true pioneering genius; 'Zoolook' is simply a standard of quality that this album couldn't even hope to attain.

Sounding oftentimes far too cheesy and out-dated, 'Téo & Téa' is probably the most difficult of Jarre's albums I've ever had to classify, insomuchas whether I like it, love it, hate it or merely tolerate it. But despite my initial misgivings regarding its cheap and tacky sheen, there has been something about the album that keeps me listening again and again at the moment.

'Like' almost seems a strong word to employ at present, but it has something I can't really put my finger on. 'Téo & Téa' isn't an awful album, it's merely an okay album, and I really do expect something more fulfilling from Jean-Michel Jarre next time. (...)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so much of a departure, 29 Mar 2007
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
Those of you expecting an album like so-called "classic" Jarre should probably move along, because this most certainly is not it. It is more, however, like 2003's Geometry of Love or the more experimental Sessions 2000. Whether this is a good or bad thing is very much open to interpretation. I happen to (mostly) like it so far.

It certainly isn't an unalloyed triumph, but it's no disaster either. Musos will complain that his use of instrumentation is no longer as imaginative as it was; maybe this is true but perhaps Jarre's own needs have moved on, with contemporary kit giving him the palette he wants.

The major complaints I've seen about this album are that it is too derivative and too dancy. This is partly true, it does have a much more aggressively dancy, clubby feel than other work of his, not that it will make any difference in the UK, which now is not a major market for him any longer really (this album will struggle to do Top 20 business here).

Tracks like Teo & Tea itself and Chatterbox remind me a little of Zoolook-era tracks like Zoolookologie (one of my favourite JMJ pieces) and the 'Moon Machine' B-side. Melancholic Rodeo has vague tinges of things from as far back as Deserted Palace. Even as far back as Equinoxe, dance was firmly at the forefront of JMJ's thinking so this is not as much of a jump as some might think, it is just the environment has changed.

If someone else had released this, how would it have been received I wonder?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Would the real JMJ please stand up???, 7 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. M. B. Hamer (Chester ,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
Mmmmm, Well I've had this CD since the day it came out and having been a Jarre fan since the mid 80's I have to say there's only a couple of tracks on this latest offering I actually really enjoy. Vintage and the dance long mix of teo and tea. The rest is found somewhat wanting.

Modern Jarre or just bland Jarre? Now I actually like techno but I personally dont think Jarre has to go down this route ! I much more prefer the old skool Jarre sound and If I wanna listen to techno I'll stick on a Scooter or a Sash CD.

I have to say that if you miss the old skool sound of Jarre like myself check out a couple of Jarre sounding ablums such as last year's excellent Enigma A Posteriori CD or Mike Oldfields 1994 gem the songs of distant earth! In my humble opinion these ablums COULD have been Jarre albums of old but he's going through a mid life crisis now and trying too hard in my opinion to stay new and fresh.....but you know what Jean Michel.....IF IT AIN'T BROKE.DON'T FIX IT!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jarre has a mid-life crisis and creative breakdown, 13 Jan 2009
This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
It's really sad to see an artist fall so spectacularly from grace: its almost inconceivable that a musician who created a beautiful, timeless, ground-breaking album such as Oxygene could go on to churn out something like this. You'd think an artist would mature and become more sophisticated through the years, and not regress to producing what clearly seems to be aimed at chavs "what like to get up on the dancefloor after 10 blue WKDs".

I know that's harsh, but the moment I heard lead single Teo & Tea I couldn't help but escape the feeling that he'd basically created little more than a ring-tone hit aimed at the Crazy Frog generation of music-buyers. It feels like a total betrayal of his fan-base. It's almost as though he's had a mid-life crisis and suddenly wants to "be cool with da kids" - which I guess would be OK in itself if the music was up to par...but this isn't.

There are some good ideas, but most of them are botched by the rather cheap, cheesy, nasty, unpolished production. There are admittedly some good tracks: Vintage is, as the title suggests, vintage Jarre and is an addictive and exuberant slice of dancefloor magic (possessing something that the titular first single sorely lacks: namely, a melody!). Partners in Crime is an enticing and groovy Bond-esque tune, while In the Mood for You is certainly passable if not a masterpiece. Touch to Remember would have been rather lovely if it weren't for the extremely grating computerised vocalisations, which spoil an otherwise good track. Unfortunately, that's about it: most the rest of the songs I'm forced to skip. Fresh News sounds like horribly irritating and obnxoious ringtone, The totally gratuitous sexual moans render Beautiful Agony utterly cringe-worthy (if Jarre wants an example of how to incorporate such elements in a subtle and effective manner he ought to check out Enigma's MCMXC AD album). Just about all the other tracks are, in my personal opinion, obnxious, cheap, tuneless and grating - and necessitate instant skippage. The album ends with a fairly good remix of Teo & Tea which I actually find a significant improvement on the original. But it's just not enough to save an EXTREMELY patchy album, with only a couple of really good tracks and FAR too many downright unlistenable ones.

I just relistened to Jarre's Metamorphosis album and can hardly believe the two are by the same artist. Metamorphosis is everything that T&T isn't: it's inventive, upbeat, sassy, sophisticated and fun. This is just an almighty mess and frankly a 14 year old playing around with a sample sequencer on a PC could probably create better music than some of the tracks on here. I'm willing to chalk this up as just a bad day (or however long it took to create) at the office for Jarre. I sincerely hope he returns to his roots and produces something worthy of his name and not cheap, horrible ringtone music like this. (I also hate having to write such a negative review, please don't flame me - this is just how I personally see it and I don't like feeling like this believe me!)
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Album, But Some Will Be Dissapointed..., 19 Mar 2007
By 
Andie B (England, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
Jarre is respected by so many, and recently 'studio albums' have been lacking ever since Metamorphoses (2000) if we exclude the promotional Geometry Of Love, but I have to say, this album is so refreshing.

The issue I already see is that some true Jarre fans who fell in love with his original style of music (Oxygene, Equinoxe, Rendez-Vous etc) may shy away from this album because it is in a totally different direction than his previous work, however, you can still tell it's Jarre's work once you've played through the tracks and it is certainly fitting for today's musical tastes and club culture.

Here's a brief synopsis of each track, and my personal ratings (1-5 stars);

FRESH NEWS - An interesting start, with Jarre's patented use of lead sounds and pitch-bending/modulation. It's not ground breaking by any standard, but you can't help but listen! 'Poppy' & 'fresh'! [****]

TEO & TEA - A perfect club track which gets you moving. Great lead and synth sounds, simple and effective however slightly short. The narration is a new idea for Jarre but may become annoying over time. [*****]

BEAUTIFUL AGONY - I wasn't overly impressed when I first heard it, and regardless that I have nothing against 'sensual' sound effects I still find it pointless for Jarre, however, I can't get the song out of my head most of the time! It's a fairly 'cheap and novice' song, but for a reason I think - minimalistic, and it works. [****]

TOUCH TO REMEMBER - Clever. Nice string lines, good synths and with a cryptic but interesting story of love and togetherness via a speech synthesiser. The use of reverse strings to is clever and makes for an illuminating effect. The track is slightly repeatative in a way, could have evolved. Good track overall. [****]

OK, DO IT FAST - Simple again but compelling - yet again a great use of sounds both hard and soft. Would make an interesting soundtrack/background part of a movie or a game. It's not the best track on the album but it's one you'd always come back too! [*****]

PARTNERS IN CRIME 1 - Legendary. When you hear it you'd be surprised it's Jarre's work. It's quite Bond-like, like the name suggests. Brilliant beat, interesting melodic lines and has so much potential. Along with Part 2, most probably the best of the album (even though it's hard to ignore Teo & Tea) [*****]

PARTNERS IN CRIME 2 - Also legendary. You wonder if it's starting to really repeat Part 1 at the start, but then has a brilliant flashback style effect and gets straight on with an amazing breakbeat and new perspective of the song, adding parts of Part 1 creativly later on. Part 1 and 2 are excellent. [*****]

CHATTERBOX - It's difficult to decide whether you like Chatterbox or not. It's one of those tracks you either hate because you simply don't get it or you love for the quirkiness of it! I find the abstract latin line interesting, but it's a track that is easilly skipped, it doesn't really have much to offer - but most Jarre fans will know that a track like this is typical for Jarre on a concept album (take Zoolook for example). [**]

IN THE MOOD FOR YOU - Nice. It would suit very well on one of countless numbers of 'Chill-out' CDs. Warm sounds, flows very well, but after all the preceeding tracks, it does slightly slow the album down. [****]

GOSSIP - I actually love this track, solely for it's ambience. Clever use of repeated vocals to make a stream, great percussion effect. Really reminds me of bands like Autecre/Aphex Twin. This show's Jarres dark mysterious side, and even though it doesn't really fit the album, it's an interesting side-piece. Melody is simple and is a hook. Could have been longer, but would have needed to get more interesting. Because of it's length, I can't rate it a 5. [****]

VINTAGE - A track perfect for the UK's club culture. I can invision it on a film like Human Traffic, but it's very mainstream. It does seem like it's been written for one purpose - simply to be played in a club. Fair enough, but then that lacks talent if it's a true statement. It's not a bad song overall, I don't like the choice of sounds and a sound used in Teo & Tea is repeated here which I hate. There is no reason for it. [**]

MELANCHOLIC RODEO - If you heard it not knowing this album was coming out, you would know it was a Jarre track. Getting one negative out the way it is slightly boring because of it's repeatativeness and no direction except 'forward to the end', however, it uses a very clever lead-effect that sounds like guitar harmonics are in there and it uses Jarre's trademark use of manipulating sounds. Similar to Geometry Of Love Part 1, but without the evolution. It's a good Jarre track overall. [****]

TEO & TEA (4PM) - A nice remix and a welcome version of Teo And Tea as it's longer (perfect for the club scene) and background music along with other club/dance tunes, but it's nothing special. The addidion of a snare with the chorus section is not necessary, and kind of moves away from the real kick that the original has, but it's a good way to finish the album. [****]

Overall, I think Jarre has made a perfect move with this album. It's dance/club/electronica but unique, it's perfect for the club market but good anywhere else and it's Jarre but not quite Jarre. It makes you wonder but listen again and again. It could take a little getting used to, and it's not an album you could listen the whole way through with headphones day in day out because it can be repeatative, but overall it's another clever and talented step in Jarre's work. As I mentioned before, I can see a selection of hardcore Jarre fans might be dissapointed with this change, some non-Jarre fans will now start to look, but remember, every artist makes changes and considering Jarre has produced albums now over 30 years, it fits nicely with the times!

Thanks for reading...

ANDIE B
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so bad! IMHO this album is actually great., 25 Nov 2012
This review is from: Teo & Tea (Audio CD)
I can see that this album sparks controversy among Jarre fans (with many favourable and many unfavourable reviews). I still think Teo & Tea is a solid piece of work, especially comparing it with some of his recent works (I don't know all of them though, being a fan of his more "vintage sound"). Yes, Teo & Tea is a good album, maybe not his best, maybe not on par with his classic works like Oxygene, Equinoxe or Chronologie, but still this album is very pleasurable to listen to, and that's what is most important in music, right? (Jarre ain't Klaus Schulze anyway) It seriously grows on you...

Teo & Tea is also quite vintage in sound. It is very modern, but not in the style of the recent electro-pop-techno. It is like a perfect bridge between the modern and the retro. Some of the tracks are more dance-oriented (the title track for example), but they are not overdone and they don't make you feel estranged. It's vintage electro-pop with cheesy melodic parts and simple, but appealing structures. My favourite tracks include "Beautiful Agony" (nice beat, great melody, the female moans are, well, a bit out of place, but it still sounds very good!), Vintage (the title says for itself, easily the best track on the album), both parts of "Partners in Crime" and "Touch to Remember". There are, however, very few less successful tracks ("Fresh News" and "Chatterbox"), which are basically just playing with samples.

Apart from that the album is very well produced. It still sounds Jarre-like, more than, say Sessions 2000 or Geometry of Love. It's just your usual, great, enjoyable Jarre album. Not as dance or techno-oriented as many think.

I read somewhere that Jarre considers this album to be a mistake. Maybe it's because of the theme - Teo and Tea, two puppet-like creatures, who meet and spend one day together. It's quite comic, but if you look at the album outside the theme, you get a very good album offering great listening experience. Apart from the idea behind the album I think Jarre has nothing to be ashamed of. IMHO, of course.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Are You An Angel?", 1 Jun 2010
By 
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
When I first listened to `Teo and Tea', my initial response was "Oh my God, Jarre's gone techno!" But then, it just got better and better with some inventive takes on contemporary sounds.

Indeed, the CD has some imaginative background support sound to add to the lustre of the main set. Thus, `Fresh News' has that of a reporter on the TV news; `Touch to Remember' features what euphemistically can be described as someone experiencing the `divine spasm'; and `Partners in Crime' sounds like a soundtrack to a heist movie with the sound of burning in the background and even a Bond-style guitar. The tracks `Gossip' and `Chatterbox' also have aural supports to heighten atmosphere. `Melancholic Rodeo' has some interesting harmonics, as the `guitar' wails and cries to distant supporting `strings' over an incongruous rhythm.

The title track itself is very `Big-Brother' in its scope and intention, Jarre once again capturing the zeitgeist. But after all the frenzy, we can take time out to chill during `In the Mood for You', but it's quickly back to the dance floor for some more breathless rhythms. For sure, there are some duff tracks: for example, `OK, Do It Fast' does little and goes nowhere, as does `Vintage'

My favourite track, though, is the aforementioned `Touch to Remember': six minutes of faux but effective divided strings, over which a synthetic voice chants the title along with other snips such as "R U an Angel?", although I'm still none the wiser for knowing the meaning of "I M U R Y".

My copy came with an additional DVD featuring an animated sequence of the title track. I like how the skyscrapers act like volume columns on a mixing desk. And hasn't the animated Mr Jarre got stubby fingers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A real mixture - sublime and bland in equal measures, 11 Oct 2007
This review is from: Teo & Tea (Audio CD)
"Téo & Téa" is Jean Michel Jarre's first album of entirely new material since "Geometry of Love" (2003). As someone who enjoyed both that album and "Sessions 2000" before it, I was interested to see what new directions Jarre would take with this one. In truth it is difficult to pin down any particular style or theme running through the album: tracks range from dance to trip-hop, ambient to simply undefinable.

The album opens very strongly with the upbeat "Fresh News" followed by the excellent title track. This latter (as well as its longer mix, the bonus track "Téo & Téa 4:00 A.M.") is easily the highlight of the album, combining the quirkiness and strong melodies we have come to love from Jarre with a catchy dancefloor beat. Much further down the tracklist, "Vintage" will straightaway remind long-time Jarre fans of Chronologie 2 & 4. Similarly, the minimalist bassline on "Beautiful Agony" is heavily reminiscent of Equinoxe 6, and its sensual vocals (provided by Jarre's wife) will certainly catch your attention - although they become more wearing after the first listening.

While there are these flashes of brilliance, however, there are also a number of tracks which are either unoriginal or unimaginative, or both. Some, though not bad in themselves, come across as highly derivative: the overuse of synth strings and clap-track in "Touch to Remember" would not sound out of place as a backing for almost any hip-hop song in the charts; the ambient "In the Mood for You" sounds like any other chill-out track. Some tracks appear to be merely filler: the uninventive two-minute "Gossip" springs to mind; "Partners in Crime, Pt. 2" sounds merely like a prototype version of Pt. 1.

Opinion has been extremely polarised on this album - as it always is on any new offering by Jarre. One of the problems is clearly that while there are a number of good tracks (and one or two great ones) there are also a number of very bland or uninspiring ones (though actually few completely awful ones). To my mind it is no surprise that the most minimalist tracks are among the most forgettable, and that the more interesting ones are those with the greatest range, depth and colour in their soundscape. Such depth, after all, is what Jarre has always excelled at.

All in all, "Téo & Téa" is a real mixture and very difficult to classify. On the whole, however, I would say that it is at least a respectable album, and if it is not Jarre's best work, neither is it his worst. As a final word of warning for those considering buying the CD+DVD version, the DVD contains no special features or visual effects to complement the audio, and so unless you particularly want the 5.1 surround experience, there is a lot to be said for buying the CD-only version instead and saving your money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars old master still rocks, 13 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. P. Richardson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
This CD is a foot stomping tour de force from the master of the genre. Not like earlier work, but new, fresh and different.Jarre continues his quest into uncharted territory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars He just hasn't got it anymore., 18 July 2007
By 
Juan Kerr (manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Teo And Tea (Audio CD)
J.M.J has been one of my favourite musicians and having seen him 4 times live Docklands (Revolutions), Château de Versailles (Chronology),Eiffel tower (Bastille Day) and Manchester (Oxygene 7-13),to find him pedalling this tripe is funny, but not in the good way.

Widely regarded as a pioneer electronic music over the 4 commercially successful decades since Oxygene (and yes i am aware of is earlier stuff), i find this to be cheap, lazy and unlike anything close to his usual high standard.I am not judging this by his previous work as his differing styles over the years, make this hard to do, but Maybe, since fulfilling his dream of playing at the pyramids for the millennium he has acheived everything in music and has nothing left to offer,or on approaching retirement, his ability to create a new standard has long since passed him by.If the old man had released this in the guise of a new artist, then he would have probably acheived better reviews as established reviewers have never really taken him seriously.

As a long time Jarre fan i expected more.

The DVD,it is as pointless as it was on Aero. The same guff, but through 6 speakers instead of 2 with nothing visually stimulating to watch. whoooppppeeeee.
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