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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:54 pm 
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After many repeated listens to the new TD CDs I was looking for a change. So I've been listening to "The Hollywood Years Vol. 1" again tonight, this time more carefully than usual as I was writing down my views on the music. Now I want to share my review of this album and I'm eager to hear what you think of this release. :wink: I don't think it's been discussed in detail before, hasn't it?

"Q-Time"
Some very fast sequencers dominate this track together with some choral synthesizers that have their own haunting effect. I love this track although it may sound boring and repetative to others; for me it's the perfect album opener.

"Cat And Snowman"
This composition is a real contrast to the album opener, a slow and moody piece of music on which synth sounds imitate an orchestra. At first I thought this one's just boring, but it would fit perfectly to a sad movie scene. To my taste it's a bit overproduced with too many washes in the background.

"Goldhunter"
This is another moody and atmospheric track, but here some mid-tempo sequencer sounds return. Once more Froese's favourite synth choir samples appear again. I'm not too keen on this one, but the melody has a simple beauty to it.

"Law Paradiso"
This composition is in fact Edgar's solo track "One Fine Day In Siberia"; we'll probably never know whether this track slipped in here by mistake or Edgar forgot about its inclusion on "Beyond The Storm", but different titles for the same piece are always annoying. Furthermore this is my least favourite Froese solo composition, I think it's just cheesy and boring. I definately could live without this one.

"La Petite Rue Noire"
This one once more is slow and atmospheric, but this time with the emphasis on the latter. Slow bass synths and very moody washes combined to haunting effect, there's almost no real melody but nevertheless it works. C'est vraiment un petit bijou.

"Propeller Beach"
This one at last delivers more driving beats and sequences, a change desperately needed at this point. The music that's included is not very remarkable, some synthesized strings and washes as you can expect them on a Froese soundtrack. As it is it's a nice and subtle composition that just lacks that melodic kick to really work on its own. It could even work as a basic track for a Dream Mix.

"Autumn In Sonoma"
This one's one more melodic composition, this time of classical proportions. Here you can definately hear that Edgar Froese draws much inspiration of classical composers like Mozart. I always wonder how this would sound like with a real orchestra, here we have string synths with oboe and some trumpet samples. It's pleasant, but I fear not very remarkable.

"Chamber Of Hope"
This starts off much more aggressive; the sequencers and beats are back. And what's more this track has a very nice melody too. Although this composition delivers more of the things you could hear on the previous ones, it's a fantastic addition to this album. It even incorporates some acoutic guitar, a rarity on this movie scores compilation. It took me a lot of listens, but it grew on me considerably, in the way many TD compositions tend to do.

"The Quiet Gambler"
Unfortunately this never happened to this composition at all, another slow and atmospheric synth washes track. It's just too slow for me and it never develops into anything interesting in my opinion. Pieces like this somehow always make me sleepy.

"The Principle Source"
Thank god this composition can wake me again quickly. A programmed drum beat that could be a leftover from the 80's is used as the basic track for a slow piano and synthesizer melody that's very nice to listen to. "The Principle Source" demonstrates how the tracks on this album may have been created, using old elements and newly recorded ones to create something new (the guitar-like samples are typical for Froese's work in the late 90's). There are some strange digital distortions on this track, but they could be intentional.

"Labeo"
Here we have a real highlight of this album, some typical 80's sequencers and long, almost endless string synths in the background. This track is very atmospheric yet manages to drive you along in this magical way TD are loved for by their fans. This track is very simple but also very effective. The only letdown is the fact that it only last for 5 minutes, it would form the perfect starting point for a long improvised section over the sequencer sounds. I'd advise Edgar to consider this composition as a candidate for further remixing and reworking: What about a "Hyper Labeo"?

"Escape From Shadowland"
Here we're back to a typical melodic Edgar Froese composition. A slow monotonous drum beat and interweaving melody lines of synthesizers and piano for this composition that delivers very much the same thing as "Law Paradiso", yet with a more convincing melody. If I'm in the right mood I really enjoy this one, if I'm not it really goes on my nerves.

"Chronos Mile"
This composition starts off very moody once more, including the oboe sounds Froese seems to be fond of. Fortunately after one and a half minutes a sequencer arpeggio sets in and lifts the piece to another level. More and more rhythmic elements are added as the chords become more focussed. At almost 6 minutes this is the longest composition on this album and you can feel how this space is used to increase the impact of it. This one was another grower for me, but one has to be honest, after almost an hour and 12 tracks one's concentration fades a bit. By the way, there's a nice trumpet-like synth solo near the end.

"Sonata By J. S. Bach"
After "Pictures At An Exhibition" on "Turn Of The Tides" and "Largo" on "Tyranny Of Beauty" here's another classical composition interpreted by Edgar Froese. At the time of release he even planned a complete album with such "cover versions" titled "Star Trooper", but I must confess I'm glad it never happened. I prefer Edgar's own compositions by far. If I want to listen to Bach I prefer real orchestra music.

"Fairfax"
To close off the first "Hollywood Years" CD Edgar Froese chose a very haunting composition. I love the sadness of "Fairfax", the beautiful chords and synthesizer choirs. This track evokes deep emotions in me (unlike Froese's Bach interpretation), it sometimes even manages to drive me to tears. A wonderful closing piece that really should have lasted longer than 4 minutes.

All in all this CD is a compilation of unused soundtrack music and therefore shouldn't be rated as a real TD album. But as such a compilation it works surprisingly well. There are many little Edgar Froese compositions (Jerome was absent on this release as we know now) that are worth checking out, yet others that are completely forgettable. The best thing is that everyone can collect at least 40 minutes of music that are of very high quality: I'd program "Q-Time", "Cat And Snowman", "La Petite Rue Noire", "Propeller Beach", "Chamber Of Hope", "The Principle Source", "Labeo", "Escape From Shadowland", "Chronos Mile" and "Fairfax" (approx. 48 mins) into my CD player and leave out the rest. You may choose other tracks, but here's enough material to make you happy.
The problem is, as a whole this album includes too much mediocre stuff to really satisfy me. As a collection of leftovers it's OK and I'm glad TD released it, but the shaky quality of the music included can bother you. I just can't stand some pieces and this pushes my rating down by a few points. But out of the two "Hollywood Years" CDs this one is definately the better one.

Rating: 6 / 10


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:00 pm 
http://td.pertou.dk/eng-9099.htm is link for my review. Not as detailed as yours, but I think the album is not that bad at all. The second volume, however is severe, aural torture.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:07 am 
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Mr Cox

You are a very talented chap,you should take up reviewing as a full time job...........Honest and great reading :wink:

_________________
RIP Edgar. I am going to miss you.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:55 am 
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Pertou wrote:
http://td.pertou.dk/eng-9099.htm is link for my review. Not as detailed as yours, but I think the album is not that bad at all. The second volume, however is severe, aural torture.


Brutal!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:24 am 
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I don't have Vol.1, only Vol.2. I agree most of it is pretty drab, but I like a few tracks -- most notably Midas Touch. I'd really like to hear a good remix of that one.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:28 am 
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JaredWhite wrote:
I don't have Vol.1, only Vol.2. I agree most of it is pretty drab, but I like a few tracks -- most notably Midas Touch. I'd really like to hear a good remix of that one.

Yep. Volume 1 is the better of the two but Volume 2 does contain one or two jems. Silver Moon Lake and Riding the Lizard Overland to name but two.

I've always think the The Hollywood Years was one of those things were TD we're going to be damned if they did and damned if they didn't release them. Had they said "We've got 30 tracks from films that aren't so cold so we won't be releasing them" the fans would have gone mad but because they did release them they're getting just as much grief.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:35 am 
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Dont think I can muster the energy to give these CDs a spin.
The seem to have lost theyre way in amogst the vast array of excellent material this band has ,and still manages to prduce.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:38 am 
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timer wrote:
Dont think I can muster the energy to give these CDs a spin.
The seem to have lost theyre way in amogst the vast array of excellent material this band has ,and still manages to prduce.

I put my favourite tracks onto a compilation CDR with some other stuff so I don't have to load the CDs just to listen to a couple of tracks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:41 am 
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Chris Monk wrote:
timer wrote:
Dont think I can muster the energy to give these CDs a spin.
The seem to have lost theyre way in amogst the vast array of excellent material this band has ,and still manages to prduce.

I put my favourite tracks onto a compilation CDR with some other stuff so I don't have to load the CDs just to listen to a couple of tracks.


Good thinking Chris - fairfax is on one of these isn't it ?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:52 am 
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timer wrote:
Chris Monk wrote:
timer wrote:
Dont think I can muster the energy to give these CDs a spin.
The seem to have lost theyre way in amogst the vast array of excellent material this band has ,and still manages to prduce.

I put my favourite tracks onto a compilation CDR with some other stuff so I don't have to load the CDs just to listen to a couple of tracks.


Good thinking Chris - fairfax is on one of these isn't it ?

Of couse. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:11 pm 
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Chris Monk wrote:
JaredWhite wrote:
I don't have Vol.1, only Vol.2. I agree most of it is pretty drab, but I like a few tracks -- most notably Midas Touch. I'd really like to hear a good remix of that one.

Yep. Volume 1 is the better of the two but Volume 2 does contain one or two jems. Silver Moon Lake and Riding the Lizard Overland to name but two.

I've always think the The Hollywood Years was one of those things were TD we're going to be damned if they did and damned if they didn't release them. Had they said "We've got 30 tracks from films that aren't so cold so we won't be releasing them" the fans would have gone mad but because they did release them they're getting just as much grief.


Anyone who would damn TD for not putting out either HW Vol 1 or 2 simply wants quantity over quality. TD's reputation wouldnt take the slightest hit if they toss that filler into the garbage.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:40 pm 
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@MrCox:

Again a very good and interesting review! You´re really talented in writing such words. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:07 pm 
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:oops: Oh thank you all for your nice compliments. :wink:

In fact I'll try to make a living as a journalist, but as a beginner there's almost no chance to be paid properly. :( In August I'll move to Cologne to find me a better job, we'll see.

TD's music is so inspiring and (at least for me) very easy to write about. :) And one more thing: While I was writing my very first article for our local newspaper (a review of a choir concert a few weeks before Christmas 2005 by the way) I was listening to TD's "Jeanne d'Arc". I seem to find the necessary words more easily while listening to TD. What lies nearer than writing about TD while listening to their music? :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:08 pm 
MrCox wrote:
:oops: Oh thank you all for your nice compliments. :wink:

In fact I'll try to make a living as a journalist, but as a beginner there's almost no chance to be paid properly. :( In August I'll move to Cologne to find me a better job, we'll see.

TD's music is so inspiring and (at least for me) very easy to write about. :) And one more thing: While I was writing my very first article for our local newspaper (a review of a choir concert a few weeks before Christmas 2005 by the way) I was listening to TD's "Jeanne d'Arc". I seem to find the necessary words more easily while listening to TD. What lies nearer than writing about TD while listening to their music? :wink:


You're a very fast writer, then! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:16 pm 
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Well, I can't say if I'm really a fast writer. My TD reviews are written while the music is playing; sometimes a track inspires me to write more, others don't.

Either way, it's really fun. And I hope Edgar Froese isn't distracted too much if I write about some compositions of his I don't like. :oops: I always try to describe my views honestly and although I try to remain as objective as possible my subjective opinions slip in every once in a while. As a critic it's almost impossible to hold back your personal opinions. Well, I guess he's used to critics and their subjective ramblings. I try to be never unfair or too hard, after all I'm a fan. :wink:


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