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A decent follow up to Oxygene
on 31 July 2004
Two decades after the release of Oxygene, Jarre has delivered a follow up that to my taste certainly has a right for being here. Adapted to technology and style of this day and age, but nevertheless Jarre's unmistakable, melodious, mysterious, mesmeric and inventive style is still present.
I consider the first three parts of this album appropiately different from the '76 original Oxygene, and not a moment less captivating. It contains the same well calculated transitions between movements and Part 8 is a melodic danceable track that's by no means inferior to part 4 from the original Oxygene. Part 9 is a clear memory to the opening of Oxygene '76, but again the musical experience differs and is placed in a correct new context, which never gives me the feeling Jarre simply recycled some passages.
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. Jarre to me is at his best when he captivates my mind, placing it for a moment in a completely different universe, like he does with his essential masterpieces Equinox, Oxygene and Magnetic Fields... if he had treated the second half of Oxygene 7-13 with the same mix of discipline, inventive and controlled way of composing, this could well have been a 5 star ranking.