Cinematic and kinematic stylish soundtrack
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Composed in the spring of 1987, "Canyon Dreams" was available only via the VHS video until 1991, when finally Miramar decided to publish it on CD. The digital release does not include the introduction track, a short but interesting piece of music. What we get instead, is a bonus track, composed and performed by Jerome Froese, a regular member of the band in 1991. It's absolutely divergent from the musical style, spirit and quality of the material, and thus I can't possibly see the reason for its inclusion. Long ago I learned to stop my CD player right when the proper soundtrack is finished. The core of this album consists of 7 compositions, to which the movie sequences were tailored, with some repetitions on the part of the former. The DVD release is only slightly longer than the soundtrack. The idea behind the production was to synchronize the motion picture with the musical landscape, and should you ever watch the DVD, which I heartily recommend, you will see that the synchronization is perfect, scenes were cut exactly according to the kinematic tempo of Tangerine Dream compositions, and sometimes one can hardly believe how good that effect was, as is for instance the case with Canyon Carver. Since I had owned "Canyon Dreams" long before it was properly issued on CD, I will always associate the music with the picture. Not a bad idea, anyway, and if you are not an obsessive fan of Tangerine Dream - like yours truly - you might be much better off if you got two at the price of one. Buying this inexpensive DVD you can admire the synchronized images, both musical and visual. The album begins with 'Shadow Flyer', a dynamic, syncopated composition in which synthesizer riffs change tempo again and again, with idiosyncratic structure overwhelming the listener. It's not easy listening, by no means it is indeed, and you will be delighted to see the band innovating once again, after so many years. In a sense, 'Shadow Flyer' is a comeback to the golden times of the late seventies, and albums like "Cyclone" and "Force Majeure". After your tastes are sharpened after this grand intro, you are treated to the two-piece 'Canyon Carver', a powerful track, which in turn is rather simplistic. Now notes fly whirling in the air much like water drops oscillating wildly, albeit silently on the edge of the small waterfall, a tiny barrier in the flow of the canyon river. Suddenly the suspense increases, and you realize that something is going to happen, and indeed it does, for we are going to rock now. We approach the series of wild waterfalls, and with your mouth slightly agape, you gain momentum in perfect harmony with the water and the sound track, which accelerates and then settles in a steady beat of an electronic rock theme, one of the best Tangerine Dream ever created.Then as one flies over the Canyon in sudden gasps of the wind, we enjoy the thrill of 'Water's Gift', a moody tune of delicate fading spasms, into which the vibrating sequencer background is intertwined. Once again we are treated to the electronic flute, something which we grew to love ever since "Tangram" of 1980. With the advent of the fourth track, 'Canyon Voices', the so-far unheard members of the band, Edgar Froese and Paul Haslinger, come into play (in the compositional sense). A year later these two musicians produced another soundtrack, "Miracle Mile", a kind of watered-down version of "Canyon Dreams", and 'Canyon Voices' track in particular. We enter the second half of the recording with 'Sudden Revelation', a tear-jerking electronic ballad, which might just as well serve as a grand finale of any romance, or perhaps as an ideal background for an intellectual literary romance, if the latter was adapted to silver screen. Fortunately, this mood does not propagate to the following tune, 'A Matter of Time', the longest one on the disc (almost 9 minutes). It's a small suite in miniature, in fact an essence of this soundtrack, where all aforementioned elements are blended into the grand multithreaded theme. It's timeless, and it's beautiful. The album ends with 'Purple Nightfall', a tune which is slightly reminiscent of their previous soundtrack, "Shy People". It's not as good as the rest of the album, but then, the album is stellar, of very high quality in every respect, and thus we can live with 'Purple Nightfall'. Remember though to eject your player before the bonus Froese junior track spoils your pleasure, breaking the mood of this beautiful CD. If only I could delete it from CD!"
R. Legendre | New Orleans, LA | 06/22/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although the album sleeve says that this release is from 1987, it was not actually released until 1991. For fans, it was the absolute LAST chance to hear music from TD while Chris Franke was still a part of this great band.
The music itself is quite good, but there are 1 or 2 tracks that are somewhat fogettable. The final track was actually written by Edgar's son Jerome and is probably one of the best tracks on the album.
All in all, it is a very good album, it's just not great, at least not great for a TD album. It is worth a listen every now and then, though."