WITH his illuminated circular keyboard, laser harp and epic son et lumiere spectaculars, it’s easy to overlook how influential France’s most successful musician has been on electronic music since Oxygene , his first hit in 1977. At least his flamboyance is more entertaining than the present crop of barbecue boys staring into their laptops on stage, occasionally twiddling a knob like checking chops on the grill. Jarre’s first studio album in six years is not so much leading the pack as surveying the form, noticeably the house music of about eight years ago, though the percolating momentum of Teo & Tea ranges across a variety of styles and rhythms, some of them thumpers. It’s up- vibe and, yes, stadium friendly, even when being reflective: everything with purpose, heaps of cleanly articulated detail, smooth sawtooth waves and masterful filtering. The Morricone guitars on Partners in Crime 2 and some insistent orchestral strings on Touch to Remember add a filmic touch. Mainstream, a bit retro, but it grows on you. Perhaps that’s why Jarre has endured.
Alistair Jones Teo & Tea Jean Michel Jarre Aero/ Warner