18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Zoolook (Audio CD)
Together with Oxygene and Equinoxe, this is one of the three Jean Michel Jarre albums that any serious music fan should own.
Putting this album on today makes you realise just what an amazing and overlooked piece of work this was. The first thing you notice is the epic production, with an almost unbelievable dynamic range. Played loudly enough this album shakes windows and floors in some places with chest-thumping bass.
The centrepiece is the sprawling Ethnicolor, lasting nearly twelve minutes. For the first seven minutes or so, the pace is almost stately, reminiscent of whalesong with a keening quality. The second section of the piece however is much more driven, with some thumping drumming, fliud, organic basslines and an ending which sounds pretty damn near to orgasmic. This, I think, is possibly the single greatest piece of music JMJ has ever (or will ever have) written.
Of the rest, both Zoolook and Zoolookolgie are interestingly dancey variants, definitely influenced by working in New York, with the electro culture there growing as it was. Blah Blah Cafe is fun and bouncy, while Wooloomooloo and Ethnicolor II are short, minor pieces, verging on filler.
It is also interesting to note that Blah Blah cafe, Diva (without the Laurie Anderson vocal) and much of the soundscape of Ethnicolor II appeared on Jarre's now infamous Music For Supermarkets album recorded the previous year, at about the same time as artists like Yello, Peter Gabriel and the Art Of Noise were also beginning to use the same technology. This makes this album not only musically experimental but technologically pioneering too. Perhaps that's why it performed so unusually poorly on release in the UK on release, barely scraping the Top 50. Looking back from here however, it's possible to see this work as maybe Jean Michel Jarre's greatest achievement of all.