TANGERINE DREAM: Lily on the Beach (1989)
“Lilly on the Beach is a disappointing album which includes some good small tracks to be hum but which will remain always empty of sense”
1 Too Hot for my Chinchilla 3:51 2 Lily on the Beach 4:16 3 Alaskan Summer 3:33 4 Desert Drive 3:47 5 Mount Shasta 4:26 6 Crystal Curfew 4:57 7 Paradise Cove 3:45 8 Twenty-Nine Palms 3:19 9 Valley of the Kings 5:05 10 Radio City 4:04 11 Blue Mango Cafe 4:12 12 Gecko 3:33 13 Long Island Sunset 7:11 Private Music | CD 260 103
(CD 55:59) (V.F.)
Ouf! That I was severe! I reread my chronicle (Guts of Darkness 9557) and I have the feeling of being an old grump who goes to war against an icon. Notice that I didn't change idea! LILY ON THE BEACH is still an album that sucks. A very average one! Well, with time and another listening for a review I found that I hit hard on Edgar Froese. And for a good reason! Today it is known, but in that time we still dreamed. This album remains the one that divided the fans and especially an era. We dreamed about a possible comeback, but Edgar had decided otherwise. From now on, his Dream would go towards a more Americanized, more accessible and a more melodious EM. Kind of Peter Bardens or Yanni. It was the era of the digital technology and of the singing synths. Thus, finished solos! The sequencing and its unpredictable effect of rhythm? Its role has now turned into a second one. The electronic sticks percussions and their bongo drum soundings had the preference. The result, let's be honest, is a rather drab album filled with electronic beats and synth melodies without real souls which exude much more some approaches of movie synth-pops as well as an electronic pinky kind of rock. The kind of flat EM that was made by ton of unknown bands in the 80's.
Too Hot for my Chinchilla starts things on the right foot. The rhythm is nervous. Interrupted by harmonious threads, it beats of its electronic drumsticks which stamp like a typist with some crystalline hits and with its sequences of glass which clink more in a harmonic mode than a rhythmic one. It's lively, near rock and we eventually end by liking it. These lively and ebullient rhythms are more numerous as usual on this album and that doesn't mean that they are inevitably great. Set apart the opening track, I like the ardour and the nervousness of Paradise Cove as well as the good solos of the old Edgar. On the other hand, titles like Desert Drive, Radio City (this first appearance of Jerome had left me of ice) and the insipid Gecko always remain to me of some total ineptitudes. We are in the 80's. The pinky rock is the new tendency with a lot of movies for teenagers, thus the EM of TD follows this tangent with many synth-pop ballads. That begins with the title-track and its bursts of dramatic percussions. That continues with Alaskan Summer, Crystal Curfew which I enjoyed, the very good Valley of the Kings and its Arabian fragrances, and the very so/so Blue Mango Cafe. At level of the nice small jewels of ambiences there is Mount Shasta, the romantic Twenty-Nine Palms and its melancholic piano, as well as Long Island Sunset with a first saxophone presence which will become an instrument of accompaniment for synths in the future years of the Dream.
In spite of some beautiful small music pieces, which could have come from any new band quite hampered to demonstrate a more experimental character, LILLY ON THE BEACH remains a very disappointing album where the tandem of Froese -Haslinger shows no boldness, favoring even a certain ease. The rhythms are defended by very ordinary structures of bass, beat boxes without souls and virtual bongo drums which will soon be an integral part of TD's world, relegating the sequencers to a phony role and to beat machines without punch nor imagination. There is also the apparition of a first saxophone on a Tangerine Dream track. Sax, wind instruments and manual percussions will have from now on their special place in the universe of the Dream. It's a whole world which topples over and I believe that Edgar Froese should have changed the name of his group. But that's another debate. But the old fox ran head first in order to fetch a new generation of fans and in time reunite certain old ones in his new artistic vision. But if we listen closely the new music of his Dream, we notice that there is a scent of Peter Baumann but in a much colder and a less imaginative way. Whatever and all in all, LILLY ON THE BEACH is a disappointing album which includes some good small tracks to be hum but which will remain always empty of sense.
Sylvain Lupari (December 26th, 2013) **½***