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Vangelis - Albedo 0.39 CD (album) cover




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3.68 | 165 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars The 39% of the light received by the Sun is reflected by Earth into the space. This is the meaning of the title. After an album entited Earth that was about our planet from a geographical/ethnic point of view, and the mystic "Heaven and Hell", Vangelis closes a trilogy about our planet looking at it from the space.

"Pulstar" is an excellent opener, with a sustained rhythm, orchestral accents and a captivating melody. Some spacey sounds enhance the final crescendo that's suddenly interrupted by the telephone time service.

From here we go to space."Free Fall" has something of chinese or indonesian for the use of cymbals and the type of melody. The transition to the dramatic "Mare Tranquillitatis" is sudden. It's the site of the first lunar landing and the recorded voices of Apollo's astronauts recreate the athmosphere of July 20th '69. Whoever has watched the landing on TV that night knows what I mean.

"Main Sequence" is another astronomical reference. It's a diagonal on the "Herzsprung- Russell" diagram that represents the status of the majority of the stars before the collapse. This is a caotic and non-melodic track. We are far from the jazzistic debuts, but I think this can be called jazz as well. I don't have an idea of what the signature is. Eight very progressive minutes closed by the last two minutes that are calm and spacey like only Tangerine Dream are able to be.

There is a continuity with "Sword of Orion". The side closer is less than two minutes long. No drumming. It's another short travel into space with SciFi sounds in the background. Very melodic with a hint of classical. A short highlight.

Side B starts with "Alpha". A repetitive melody goes in crescendo until an orchestral explosion after several minutes. It's the easiest track of the album and probably a bit too long, but I remember a TV adv with this music behind the images of two dolphins making jumps in slowmo (starting from when the drumming enters the track).

"Nucleogenesis is a suite in two parts. rhythmic and chaotic like Main Sequence, but more rock than jazz this time. It's one of my favourite tracks in all the Vangelis' discography and probably his last rock act before turning to more relaxing environments in the following albums. The second part of Nucleogenesis is started by a church organ, then it becomes rhythmic again. After an "orchestral interlude" the track is closed by the initial riff.

Now the album closer: a voice reads the "astronomical numbers" of Planet Earth over a very spacey music. Highly athmospheric and evocative of space, it's closed by the voice repeating "Albedo 0.39".

Having given five stars to Heaven and Hell I can't rate this less. If you like watching to the night sky, this is your album.

octopus-4 | 5/5 |


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