JEAN MICHEL JARRE
METAMORPHOSES
ALBUM EPIC, SONY RELEASE: JANUARY 31, 2000 REVIEW: MARCH 2, 2000


A piece of advice to impulse buyers of the new Jarre disc: donít start by listening to "Tout Est Bleu". It might ruin the whole experience. Itís some weird kind of jazzy electronica, with sporadic voice outbursts in the verse and a terrible, if not even horrible, chorus attempt. Thankfully, itís only here Mr Jarreís renewal need goes overboard.
But Iím somewhat hesitant when it comes to the sounds themselves. It sounds more like incredibly expensive digital synth sounds, than warm, charming analogue soundwalls, which have made Jean Michel into the synthpioneer that he is. "Metamorphoses" is strictly electronic, but I canít hear it.
Another, rather surprising, change on the new Jarre album is the use of singers, and songs based on common pop foundations. It both works and doesnít. Vocals are mostly used in the form of an instrument, but obvious refrains are found in several songs. Laurie Anderson does a striking appearance in the opener, "Je Me Souviens", as well as Natacha Atlas in the single release "Cíest La Vie". But I like Lisa Jacobsí singing performance best. The one in the soothing, ambient masterpiece "Millions of Stars". It is a musical flashback to a more enthusiastic and innovative Jean Michel Jarre.
If you ask me, I think Jarre does it better when heís not influenced by anyone but himself.

NIKLAS FORSBERG


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