Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: New Age, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
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Serious soundtrack work, but lots of fun, too
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1993 Christopher Franke scored an excellent soundtrack for the film "Raven", a soundtrack which is symptomatic of his earlier and later work, and which in fact constitutes a representative work of this composer. If you would like to have an overview of qualities Franke's music has to offer, you will do exceptionally well with "Raven" rather than a compilation. I very highly recommend this album."Raven" starts with 'Raven Theme', a dynamic electronic track featuring fast fuzzy guitar. All elements are balanced, and we are not overburdened either with heavier hard rock bent, or with electronics. In fact, 'Raven Theme' is a good marriage of rock and electronic music known from his previous studio album, "Pacific Coast Highway". We even have musical samples from Tangerine Dream's classic soundtrack "Legend"! 'Wisdom of Love' is a pop song with Jeff Meck's vocals (Meck is an actor, not a singer, thus "Raven" is indeed a rarity!). Lovely electronic background accompanies Meck's efforts, which perhaps if not the height of what one can get from pop vocals, are indeed pleasurable. If you would like to have more of these in your collection, I heartily recommend "Pacific Blue", Franke's soundtrack for a popular American TV show. 'Island Spirit' is one of the best compositions on this superb album. Instrumental burning fire of a tune, with changning rhythms, acoustic percussion and occasional fuzzed guitar, it's mostly an electronic piano song, a very fast one. To our astonishment, halfway it changes into a moody syncopated song of a more sophisticated texture, with leading saxophone accompanied by guitars and piano. The track ends with a sample from Legend, and a slowly dying electronic passage which hints at his later album, "Babylon 5". The fourth track, 'Don't Walk Away' is another song, and this time we enter the realm of early 80s and the times when Foreigner and Ultravox reigned the air waves. A nice song with a few overlapping vocal lines, and in addition a nice guitar solo by Michael Thompson. The next track, 'Change My Skin', is similar to 'Island Spirit' in spirit (yes, I meant that). A dynamic intro with a steady acoustic percussion rhythm and electronic piano abruptly changes into a basso continuo with syncopated keyboard riffs and scary orchestral entries, to come back again to the rhythmic line of the beginning. 'Palm Beach' is a strictly pop song featuring a singer Lisa Soland, who is much better at her task than Meck. Pop it is, but in the background it features a nice swirling electronic piano which adds value to this number it might not have otherwise. A drums'n'bass rhythm of 'Palm Beach' confirms Franke's inspirations from the early 80s. If you are an old mushroom as yours truly, and grew up with Foreigner, U2, Ultravox and Depeche Mode, you'll love this. Thus 6 tracks into this album, we have had much fun, more than we might expected from Franke, who so far showed only his electronic face and heavy orchestral inspirations. 'See the Light' is a variation on a theme from 'Island Spirit', again with a leading saxophone. One might think that an electronic music composer, a godfather of Tangerine Dream sound was only able to produce albums in his selected genre of the past. Far from truth, as "Raven" is best proof of. 'Island Spirit' reminds me of the atmosphere of instrumental parts of Dire Straits, with a beauitiful saxophone melody. Fortunately, it's not derivative at all - you must listen to 'See the Light' to immerse yourself in this electronic rock/pop song that is unique to Christopher Franke. Drawing inspirations from all genres of music, popular or classical, he sets new paths and leaves us wondering whether there are any limits to his abilities. 'House of the Sun' again is a light song, and when it fades away, we enter the second half of this genius album, which is completely instrumental. 'Haleakala' expands on the saxophone theme from 'See the Light'. The tenth track, 'Black Dragons', takes us back to 1987, and the Tangerine Dream releases of "Livemiles" and "Near Dark". An electronic flute is abruptly stopped to deliver an arpeggio known from "The London Concert", with an avalanche of acoustic drums - to come back to the electronic flute and quotes from "Near Dark". It's a stellar composition, I think the best on the album, and certainly will cause tears in the eyes of all those of us who miss the old, good Tangerine Dream of the past. 'Secret Memories' is a sweet soft synthesizer passage, much like many moments on 'Pacific Coast Highway', with an electric piano melody and saxophone in the foreground, and occasional orchestral sample. After a minute, the acoustic drums enter, to deliver a nice melody known from other part of the album. Then, to our surprise, 'Rain Forest Chase' brings us again back to the Tangerine Dream times of "Three O'Clock High" and its enormous dynamism contained in the space of just three minutes. 'Mental Images' adds more romantic touch to the heavier textture, the blend is indeed delicious. After a dynamic 'The Yakuza', which hints at the following year's studio release of "Klemania", we enter the atmospheric world of 'Guardians of the Night', a mysterious composition with the beloved Franke's changes of rhythm. The track, as the whole album, is eclectic, compositionally very sophisticated, but at the same time intriguing and pleasurable. Every minute of Christopher Franke's soundtrack brings something new, something exciting, something which sadly cannot be said of his former employer, Tangerine Dream of the later day.Raven ends with a country-style 'Ski and the Big Kahuna', which might just as well find its way to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack. Invite LeAnn Rimes and let's have fun! Aloha! Christopher, you surprise me!!!"
BEST CD EVER !!!!
imran | bangladesh | 10/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When i first saw raven in 1993 i was swept away with the beauty of the series , it was toooooooo good !! the music was the essence of the show , each song has a diff. mood to fit raven and its excellent for any raven fan or for the normal music listner ..this CD inspires me a lot , i recommend this CD ! i'll give it 5 stars........."