Tuesday Tunes: Oxygene 7-13

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In the last writing music post we looked at Oxygene, undoubtedly one of Jean Michel Jarre’s better and most popular poeces of work. Twenty years after its release, Jarre went back to Oxygene, and used similar sounds and themes to produce a sequel, the imaginatively titled Oxygene 7-13.

The first two tracks put me in mind of Oxygene Part IV, and Part 9 harks back to the low key, atmospheric feel that opened the 1976 CD – so far, so good. Unfortunately Oxygene 10 is where the whole thing sort of sags in the middle; it’s not especially bad, it just… doesn’t seem to fit.

Part 11 does start to get Oxygene feel back, and 12 combines the new melodies with the spacey synths of the original to pretty decent effect.

After the upbeat mid-section provided by 11 & 12, the CD closes with a more mellow, melodic number, again very reminiscent of the way the original Oxygene closes.

I think the main failing of this CD is its title; hadit been given a new name, any references back to 1976 would have been greeted with a knowing grin by Jarre fans, and the new elements judged on there own merit rather than by comparison. The fact is, Oxygene was so good in the first place, that trying to add to it would always be difficult at best.

Oxygene 7-13 was Jarre’s last recording before going off on a tangent and starting to include lyrics and stuff, so from that perspective, going back to the start brings that part of his musical career full circle.

Stand out track: Oxygene Part 13, which is, simply, a classic Jarre track.

Inevitable comparisons aside, it’s a Jean Michel Jarre album – not one of his best, but at its best, every bit as enjoyable as any other.

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