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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tangerine Dream

Underwater Sunlight

Review by Gary Hill

This album from Tangerine Dream is focused on the world that exists underwater. While this has the same electronic keyboard based sounds you expect from the band, there is a lot more guitar here. Some parts of this rise up in that vein to the point of feeling quite a bit like Pink Floyd.

Note that I've done this review as an individual retro review here, but it's actually part of a brand new box set that I've also reviewed for this issue. This review is included in that one.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Song of the Whale Part One (From Dawn...)
Coming in quite electronic, there is a compelling, almost dream-like vibe to this. Around the one minute mark it shifts as some intricate guitar sound emerges. The track evolves from there with an almost mellow fusion element in play. When this gets more rocking further down the road a killer guitar rises upward that makes me think of David Gilmour a bit. That doesn't stay around long, though, the track moving back to the keyboard dominated stuff from there. Noisier, dramatic things enter later for a short part. Then it eventually makes its way back toward more hard-rocking, guitar-laden territory to continue. The Pink Floyd reference is again valid in that section. The noisy thing returns to end the piece.
Song of the Whale Part Two (... to Dusk)
Piano starts this in a very organic way and holds it for a time. Eventually this makes its way to more of the trademark electric sound one would expect. It grows outward as it continues and guitar begins to drive more of the texture. In the second half of the piece, this is almost eleven-minutes long, the guitar takes over in a dropped back movement for a while. As it continues to solo the arrangement builds upward.
Dolphin Dance
Energetic electronic textures are the order of business on this number. It ahs a suitably playful vibe. At times I'm reminded of the Alan Parsons Project just a bit. The tune gets harder rocking before it's done.
Ride on the Ray
Melodic and quite pretty at the start, this evolves in a gradual way from its origins. This gets more rocking at times, but the keyboard textures drive a lot of it. It's an energetic and quite strong tune.
Scuba Scuba
This number doesn't get as rocking as some of the rest on this disc do. Yet, it has a lot of energy and manages to really drive things nicely.

The title track is gentle and quite pretty with keyboard sounds that do lend a bit of an "underwater" vibe. While this does rise up a bit before it's over, it doesn't rock like some of the others on this disc do.


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