Upon recieving this album by mail, it was proclaimed as being the worst of all Tangerine Dream releases. Later, this nomination was passed over to Heartbreakers, The Hollywood Years vol. 2 and Destination Berlin, in particular.
The album has been cursed with an extremely bad and inaproppriate title, Rockoon.
No matter what people might say, there is not much rock about this record. If we're speaking of rock, it's definitely lacking from a great deal of wildness and nerve. If you're looking for rock'n'roll, Electronic Meditation (1970) is the answer.
With Haslinger out of the band, Tangerine Dream was reduced to the Froese/Froese duo, with guest appearences by Richi Webster on sax, and Zlatko Perica - my hero - on guitar. Big City Dwarves is in the same league as Electric Lion from Melrose. However, Big City Dwarves is darker, which only is benefitting. It opens with a very metallic synth, which can't boast from being particularly well performed.
It increases with intensity, and works as backing to a fantastic guitar solo by Jerome, and this is, if not the highlight of the album, the highlight of the track.
It ends the same way, as it started, exactly like Electric Lion. Although better than its comparison, it doesn't gain points from a perspective of being innovative.
Together with Big City Dwarves, Red Roadster is one of the best tracks on Rockoon. It takes a couple of minutes, before it comes up with anything appealing. A piano figure, like the harpsichord ditto we heard in Alchemy of The Heart from Tyger, raise the tempo, and four minutes into the track, Zlatko Perica proofs his virtuosity.
The last couple of minutes are very calm. Richi Webster plays some sax, not all irritating, just sufficient. His contributions on flute, lies very distant in the mix, so his attendance is just anything, but necessary.
With Red Roadster, Tangerine Dream proof their ability of working up a climax, to tone it down afterwards.
Touchwood is one of my favourite tracks from the 1990's with Tangerine Dream, but just not in this original form. It might be some of the better tracks on this album, but it's bland and badly instrumentated. Among other bad things, we hear this drum machine sound TD used a lot in the 90's, and I don't like that. It is very unreliable, and sounds incredible stiff, as there is no reverb on the beats, and I simply don't get, what they see in this sound.
Graffiti Street has a hard time finding it's focus, and the guitar playing, by the always excellent Perica, is stiff and forced with no love committed to the track - did I hear anyone saying studio musician?
The conclusion is very ill-timed. A classically-inspired theme played on a keyboard purchased in Toys'R'Us, being so camp, it's hard to get this band once made albums like Rubycon, Tangram and Ricochet.
It get's even worse, because Funky Atlanta is without any sort of doubt, one of the worst tracks, with the Tangerine Dream name attached to it.
First of all, track has nothing to with funk. If not for the guitar, the track would sound like something from the local Info Channel. This time, not even a regular rock line-up, could have saved it. The composition is so lacklustre, it can't be reached, not matter the instrumentation.
It doesn't get any better in Spanish Love, Lifted Veil, Penguin Reference, Body Corporate nor Girls On Broadway, which shoudn't be unleashed from the studio. And that saxophon makes the music so suggestive, I understand, why some people has called Tangerine Dream music porn music.
Luckily, Rockoon is a catchy track, I often wants Liquid Tension Experiment to cover it, as Perica momentarily sounds a lot like John Petrucci. And that isn't bad at all.
The reason for the 4/10 rating, is the first two tracks and title track, which has some worthwhile quality. But the rest is trash, and this album is the primary example, why instrumentation and productions means helluva lot, when it come to the quality of the songs.