Zlatko Perica does not play his guitar this time, on the other hand Mark Hornby and Gerald Gradwohl have done their best to match his virtuosity. They do it so well, I don't miss Zlatko, but like the last time, the guitar playing makes the music, considerable better. Tyranny of Beauty is a strong improvement upon the sound quality and music of Turn Of The Tides.
The intro of Catwalk consists of a vocoder, which we haven't heard since way back. When the track is less than a minute old the, typical TD-melodies starts, but soon after, it takes a turn which is slightly darker, and definitely the height.
Catwalk is dance inspired with a flamenco guitar, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. With Catwalk, Tangerine Dream has somewhat rediscovered the ability to orchestrate a tune decently. This track is one of the reasons why Tyranny Of Beauty marks the beginning of an era where the range of music is listenable again.
Birdwatcher's Dream opens with competent guitar, played by Gradwohl or Hornby. I don't think the sound has been updated to something contemporary, when we hear a very metallic synth, like it was something from the late 80's. The track is in all its relaxed atmosphere quite nice to listen to, with the guitar playing, but doesn't reach the Catwalk-level.
Little Blond In The Park Of Attractions is drowsy. Obviously, a saxophone solo doesn't better things. Fine guitar playing by Jerome, who challenges the structure of the song, and makes it faster and more listenable. Unfortunately, the drowsyness returns.
Living In A Fountain Pen is suitably cheesy the first four minutes to penalize the overall impression. Even the acoustic guitar can't save anything, and why should we be tormented by the saxophone? It simply don't fit in the with my concept of Tangerine Dream!
It get's a lot better when a Dream Theater inspired solo is added after 4½ minute. This solo sets the scene for a cool and heavy piece, with awesome rhythm guitar and guitar show-off. Just enough to save the track.
The re-recording of Stratosfear is in my ears very successful. The introductory and gorgeously pulsating sequencer, resembles the original finely. Even the all-familiar tune, is here played on guitar, and suitably recognizable and different at the same time. That gives Stratosfear '95 a raison d'être. Also, the tempo is very fast, which makes the track rockier than the original. There is also room for a lot of show on the guitar. A bit unnecessary to tell that it's the best track on the album?
Bride In Cold Tears is quite eventful within the first two minutes. First we get tasty guitar playing, which is taken over by eurodance-like piano chords. It becomes ethnic for some seconds, then there is a pieced played backwards, which is quite psychedelic, compared to the rest of the album, and one of the many highlights of the track.
Bride In Cold Tears is the most progressive and versatile track. It is ethnic in its scales and rhythm track, and the decrease of tempo at the end, works as intended.
Haze of Fame is a relaxing piece without much appeal, but it's interesting, as it stylistically isn't far from something from the Underwater Sunlight album. Extremely calm, with equally calm guitars from Edgar Froese.
The title track is guitar swanking, which makes the hairs rise on the arm. No more to be said about this track.
Largo (from Xerxes) by Händel is the worst track. No doubt about that. I find it strange that they repeat the failure from Turn of The Tides, where they mercilessly molested classical music into grim muzak. Largo could be heard at your local Italian restaurant along with panpipe renditions of Celine Dion and Phil Collins tracks, and could do fine to create a romantic mood, but it simply don't belong on a record with serious music. Tyranny of Beauty could be rated much better without this catastrophal blemish. Largo is a foul way to end an album, so try to find the version with the bonustrack called Quasar. Nevertheless, Tyranny Of Beauty is a relief upon Rockoon and Turn Of The Tides, and the rest of the century get's even better.