dimanche 9 août 2015

JEAN MICHEL JARRE: Revolutions (1988)

“Maybe far from the cosmic moods of Oxygene/Equinoxe, Revolutions remains a pretty good album which mixes orchestral, tribal and industrial fragrances”
1 Révolution Industrielle: Ouverture 5:20
2 Révolution Industrielle: Part I 5:08
3 Révolution Industrielle: Part II 2:18
4 Révolution Industrielle: Part III 3:47
5 London Kid 4:34
6 Révolution, Révolutions 5:01
7 Tokyo Kid 5:22
8 Computer Weekend 5:00
9 September 3:52
10 L'Emigrant 3:56

Disques Dreyfus ‎– 837 098-2 (CD 44:24) ****
(Tribal and Industrial E-Rock)
Well...A little piece of Jarre to talk about? It's while listening to the last Glenn Main that the taste of dipping my eardrums again in the hard and technoïd ambiences of Revolutions assailed me. I know! The purists of the spatial and cosmic EM were bitterly disappointed by this musical bend of Jarre After all, we all wished, and wish always, for a new Oxygene or a new Equinoxe, except that Jarre had already undertaken a technoïd, and a little weird tribal, musical migration on the excellent Zoolook. He did try a cosmic comeback with Rendez-Vous, of which the scents are all around the Révolution Industrielle parts, but the spirit wasn't just there. So comes “Révolutions”! In order to well situated this album, let's just say that it's a crossing between Zoolook and the now  not- that-bad Chronology. Looking back, “Révolutions” was the launch pad for Jean Michel Jarre towards other musical heavens that will take him away smoothly from the point of his origins. Notice that this “Revolutions” is not that bad. It's a pompous sonic voyage which flirts between good cosmic moods and purely hard technoïd EM with a zest of pinky synth-pop. Boy, did I loved this "London Kid"!
And it's with surprise, for that time (remember we are in 88), that I heard the first measures of "Révolution Industrielle: Ouverture". Bang! Bang! Loud percussions knocking on anvil. Dramatic synth pads! The track starts with a strange rhythmic spasmodic pattern. A kind of jumping phase of rhythm is hiccupping in a strange metallic halo which is freed by a synth and of its dense vaporous industrialized lines. Between a post modern ambient break-dance and a cosmic hip-hop, the music is quite ahead of its time. This mix of soft and hard, the steel thundering on a cloud of feathers, was simply enchanting. Even if we were far from the cosmic moods so much hoped. Fire shots coming from laser beams or from a kind of Arcade game add the only sci-fi touch the a musical background which spreads its heaviness over an enormous irradiant wall of synth streaks, setting the tone for the percussions which hammer a loud industrial sonic texture. Well sat on its four sonic chapters, "Révolution Industrielle" is ground beneath a quite fascinating post-apocalyptic mood loaded of ghostly steelworks breezes which won't  slow down the melodious "Part II" of charming us. "Révolution Industrielle: Part I" is flooding our ears with a dense orchestral structure which tears down the moods with sharp staccato movements. The effect is quite dramatic. Mixing ambient and rhythmic patterns with good hammering percussions lost in the cutting out from these orchestral blades, the music travels between vintage and contemporary structures with catchy but breaking tunes and some very nice twisted synth solos. Honestly? We are not that far from his point of origins here! The pattern is like the last 2  albums of Jarre with a quite nice long first part and some nice pieces of music which flirts with easy listening electro synth-pop and a much techno mood, like in "London Kid". What a catchy piece of music here! It's quite impossible to not like it, at least on the very first time you will hear it. After that? It depends on your tolerance level. "Tokyo Kid" and "Computer Weekend" are also short pieces of music which flirt between the attractions of catchy melodies and a so pinky easy listening blend of synth-pop and soft techno. The disinterest grows with the usage. This musical direction throws a commercial veil to an album which contains after all some solid and brilliant tracks. Such as the long opening of 17 minutes and the very heavy "Revolution, Revolutions" and of its surprising Arabian moods. This is by far the key point of this side 2. Noticed that September is a superb electronic ballad which moves on a slow structure of rhythm well fed by wet pulsations and embalmed by a splendid childish  African choir so naive and so tender that made us hate even more the Apartheid. One of the visions of “Revolutions”. "L'Emigrant" closes this album with a sumptuous, intense and dramatic orchestral waves.
If we look closer, “Revolutions” is not among the worst musical dish post-electro cosmic from
Jean Michel Jarre. But I believe that it's a precursor album with its slamming percussions and mostly with these metallic synth breezes which bring such an industrial scent and will inspire a multitude of artists. And the fact that Jarre mixes wonderfully his synth-pop structures to a hatching zombie techno style and an Arabian mood is quite fascinating, while bringing a more contemporary touch to this era. So, it's not that bad. See? All in all, it's a pretty good album which has power and boldness, but also some honeyed structures which play too much with the musical directions of EM at this time. Honestly? With the time and after so many listening, I have to say that it's a very good album.
Sylvain Lupari (August 8th, 2015)
gutsofdarkness.com & synthsequences.blogspot.ca

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