JEAN MICHEL JARRE: Revolutions (1988)
Updated: Jun 14
“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) (V.F.)
(Tribal and Industrial E-Rock)
Well, Well ...A little piece of Jarre to talk about? It's while listening to the last Glenn Main album that the taste of dipping my eardrums again in the hard and technoïd ambiences of REVOLUTIONS came to me. I know! The purists of the spatial and cosmic EM were bitterly disappointed by this musical bend of Jean-Michel Jarre. After all, we all wished, and we still do, for a new Oxygene or a new Equinoxe, except that the French musician had already undertaken a technoïd and a little weird tribal musical migration on the excellent Zoolook. He did try a timid 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 REVOLUTIONS! 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, this album was the springboard towards his other musical heavens that will take him away smoothly from his 3 first studio albums. Notice that this album 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 love this London Kid!
And it's with surprise, for that time (remember we are in 88), that I heard the first measures of Industrial Revolution Overture. Bang! Bang! Sharp percussions knocking on anvil. Dramatic synth pads! The track starts with a strange spasmodic rhythm pattern. Percussions hammered on an anvil and strange sequences that install a pattern of break-dance in a metallic cycle synth that aromatizes long trumpet laments; we could not have more metal blast than this opening. Moreover, these synths are pharaonic with solos filled by laments in a universe of science fiction that we adapt to our imagination. Sitting on four parts Industrial Revolution flirts with the spasmodic rhythm of the opening. Let's say that it exploits and explains in 17 minutes, the moods and pace of Industrial Revolution Overture. Sometimes heavy and slow, complex and easy, ambient and boosted; Industrial Revolution vogues between pure electronic and its well-honed synth solos and these passages with dramatic orchestrations that explode behind the astonishing murmurs of industrial machineries. At the time, it had taken more than one listening before assimilating this long rather particular title. And it's been the opposite with London Kid! Its rhythm is curt, hammered by good percussions in an up-tempo as much catchy as the guitar of Hank Marvin enriched with his solos as melodious and catchy as the simplistic melody. After the Arab-style trance anthem that is Revolutions, Tokyo Kid offers a futuristic tribal approach to a manga movie concept. Ditto for Computer Week-End, a title that left me of ice! September is a beautiful electronic ballad that lives from its flaccid rhythm jumping from its pulsations of rubber and its suction effect. The African melody is very intuitive with African choirs so naive and a tenderness to make us hate the Apartheid and all that resembles to it. And it's in orchestrations too heavy and too explosive that L'Emigrant puts an end to this album.
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 to Arabian moods 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 (November 18th, 2011) ***½**