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Jean-Michel Jarre - Deserted Palace CD (album) cover

DESERTED PALACE

Jean-Michel Jarre

 

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2.12 | 21 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars JEAN MICHEL JARRE was born and raised in Lyon, France and not only was classically trained to play piano but also spent most of his early years under the influences of his musical family (his grandfather was an oboe player and engineer) and also by his early exposure to the famous French street performers that sparked his interest in developing his own unique style of progressively inspired electronic music. In the early 70s JARRE was already gaining attention when he was noticed by Norbert Schmucki to contribute music for a ballet at the Palais Garnier in Paris. As one thing led to another in his musical progressions, he would score the opportunity to record his first album DESERTED PALACE.

This debut album was supposed to be recorded so that it could be used in various television programs, ads and film soundtracks. Basically an all purpose use for anything type of album's worth of material. The material on here is very much in the experimental electronic department but JARRE was taking a different approach even on this first album of his career all the way back in 1972 before his big break with 'Oxygne' four years later. Whereas other contemporary progressive electronic artists of the day were deriving their influence strictly from the Berlin school of psychedelic and trippy weirdness that was partly inspired by lysergic dissonance and otherworldly freak outs by the hands of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, JARRE was very much in touch with his inner pop star sensibilities and added a highly melodic underpinning to all of his musical edifices, much in the vein of Krautrocker Achim Reichel with his German equivalent 'Die Gne Reise,' however JARRE clearly has his classical influences well on board on DESERTED PALACE and the album comes off as an equal mix of classical inspired rhythms, melodies and ideas mixed with electronic embellishments, timbres and experiments all dressed up in a poppified easily digestible format.

Although this album is hardly a contender for the cream of the crop of JARRE's creative output, all of the elements that would be tweaked and fine-tuned for future use are all present here and this debut release and is an excellent insight into the more sophisticated sound that would come together a few short years later. The melodies are already here, the electronic experiments likewise and the pop sensibilities that often sound like classical tinged proto-synthpop are also on board as well. What IS lacking here is the totally refined weaving of all these styles into the irresistible and undeniably brilliant concoctions that would emerge on 'Oxyg'ne.' While not at that same level of coolness, i find all the tracks on DESERTED PALACE quite listenable and beautifully constructed. This indeed is a fine debut release and maybe not quite to the level of OMG essentialism but nevertheless is for sure a damn fine listen that won't disappoint. 3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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