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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tangerine Dream

Green Desert

Review by Gary Hill

If you like your prog with lots of keyboards and no vocals, this might well be one of your favorite albums. The music here is quite strong and comparisons to Pink Floyd are (at times) warranted. You might also make out Tomita and Kraftwerk at other points. The highlight of the disc is the epic length title track, but nothing here is at all weak. I’d highly recommend this one as a first introduction to Tangerine Dream.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Green Desert
The opener is an epic that stretches out across nearly the first twenty minutes of the album. It comes in very gradually with seriously atmospheric sounds starting it. As little chimes of sound chirp across the backdrop it makes me think of early Pink Floyd quite a bit. It gets pretty trippy as it slowly gets more involved. As it modulates into a different type of space, I'm still reminded of Hawkwind. As the guitar starts to weave lines of sound in the mix this gets more rocking and less Pink Floyd like. It's still essentially a trippy space rock, though. It continues to grow and evolve, working its way toward more space rocking territory. The drumming is really pretty prominent as this works upward and onward. Around the 16 minute mark it drops to just spacey keyboards to carry it. This section reminds me a bit of Vangelis or Kitaro. As it gets a shift of focus it again makes me think of Pink Floyd just a little. That movement takes the cut to its end.
White Clouds

Far shorter at just over five minutes in length, this is also Pink Floyd-like. It’s also more of rocking piece of music and has some pretty keyboard melodies. There are hints of Native American sounds at times on this and there are some more ambient sections.

Astral Voyager

A little longer than the last one, there’s a Kraftwerk like electronica texture to this. It’s very much a keyboard dominated piece. I can make out hints of Native American sounds on this one, too. It’s far more purely in the electronic category of music than in rock, though.

 

Indian Summer
Here is another that’s more fully keyboard oriented. Despite the title I don’t really hear a lot of Native American sounds here. In fact, this one is probably closer to the music of Tomita – classically driven electronic music.
 
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