Vangelis is my favorite composer by far, and any new album from the greek genius is a major event for me. But it feels like an eternity since he released an album that I love. “Direct” [aka the greatest album in any genre ever recorded] and “The City” are complete masterpieces, and “Oceanic” isn’t far behind, but other than a remastering of the brilliant “Blade Runner” soundtrack, it feels like a lot of compilation albums is all I have had to enjoy in the last 20+ years.
Thanks to Google Play Music, I discovered Rosetta. It’s quintessential Vangelis, mysterious and brooding, and as you listen it feels like you are floating in space, which is a good thing given that the album was dedicated to the Rosetta space mission, launched in 2004.
A major highlight is the the title track, with it’s opening guitar evoking the beautiful, haunting track ‘Alpha‘ from way back in 1976.
But it’s end to end brilliance, which I am sure will be eating a lot of bandwidth for me in the coming months. The bombastic opening of Origins, followed by an 80s-sounding synth teases what’s to follow. The next track, ‘Starstuff’ slowly becomes more brooding, with random plucks in the background that evoke ‘Blade Runner’ at it’s best. The track begins a long, slow, onramp to a feeling of mystery and awe. The feeling then builds through the beautiful Infinitude, a driving solid baseline, soft chorals and a lovely piano melody. It’s like we have launched and we’re accelerating towards orbit, all the while relaxed and feeling completely in control.
This gives way to the slightly chaotic, somewhat confusing feelings of ‘Exo Genesis’…we’re in a new world, a new environment and we’re picking our way through the cosmos like an infant learning to walk.
The beautifully named ‘Celestial Whispers’ returns to a feeling of peace. It’s like we’ve unfurled a solar sail and are now well on our way to our mission between the stars. The beauty and majesty of the milky way all around us…
The rest of the tracks bring us through the feelings of the mission — rendezvousing with Philae, celebrating mission accomplished, before finally riding off into the sunset with the beautiful ‘Return to the Void’.
A GREAT album, worthy of as many stars as I can give. I only ask that we don’t have to wait another 20 years to hear more of Vangelis’ beauty put into sound…