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Review by Aleksander Härmas
I got this CD right after I had heard Laserdance "Future Generation", "Changing Times" and "Discovery Trip". It was 2000 when I heard from my friend "There is Laserdance CD for sale in the shop". I thought that he must be joking, becouse it was long time ago when Laserdance released something.Though, yes it was there in the shop and even salesman did not noticed it. When I first listened it then I thought that it might be the other band becouse it did not had reminiscence with "Future Generation" or other earlier albums.
So, in this album compared to the past and on the next ones... This time they have more variation in some tracks with different arrangements which I did not noticed in the earlier albums. Also it has changed soundpalette also the arrangements have changed in half of the tracks to different structures. Also interesting is that I got this CD as Dolby Surround version. Though, unfortunately I have no access to this kind of system (wait a minute...), also its the only CD which I have with this exquisit option. Compared to pop-music I would say its like a Blue System 1996 year album by Dieter Bohlen which come with new sound and rafined way which was not comparable to previous ones and so, it was a big change in Blue System. I notice this as the first bigger soundpalette change after their first 4 albums. Though this change does not shine in every track on this album. While I would say that Michiels previous 2 albums "Discovery Trip" and "Changing Times" were like one big album, then this album actually gives a feeling of the new album becouse of the new themes and changed soundpalette, though unfortunately its only in half of the tracks. Some tracks remind itself like they were work which did not fit on the previous LP . Also some themes, interesting or not, will continue on the next album "Fire on Earth" both sonically and the distinctive arrangement. A thought -- do they actually tried to squeeze ideas to next album which did not fit on this CD? Well, I dont know but there is a noticeable difference in time. Also just one track I thought that it might be a filler, becouse Michiel can better in other tracks.
The track which stands out especially is the opening track. Both soundwise and musically which is actually strong contrast when I had listened and compared to first 4 Laserdance albums. On other tracks I could point several similar ones from other albums, but not for this one. In recording they seem to have much higher definition recording in high frequencies, so this way it could be interesting object to make research about its background and production what happens with melodies over 15kHz what heard my friend in first track "He must have heard _these high_ tones" said my friend then when listening CD. Though you must have a very good hearing up to 19kHz for this...
The album actually just gives that feeling that it has one bunch from the past and one bunch tracks which is just for this album, and the third bunch themes which were already belonging to the next album ("Fire on Earth"). I think if he could have developed more the themes which belong together for Hypermagic then with all the tracks it would have formed the complete Hypermagic, and then just have released other tracks as "Discovery Trip 2", and "before Fire on Earth" EP albums. Well, it would be unique and perfect if just distinctive Hypermagic tracks would have developed more. So far its that -- "Ambiente" album (in the future compared to this album), it contained just a few extra tracks from previous albums, but still made together as a complete album stilistically! So he actually _can_ do it, but did not that effort with this album I guess? Actually it is actually nothing to shame about to make extra -- I know one producer/composer who made for his first album ca 70 tracks which were for sorting out to form the first album. What we dont know is actually that how many tracks Michiel actually did before he sorted out the tracks which will form an album.
1. soundpalette change, high-def recording in high frequencies compared to previous albums.
2. Thats the only CD which I is released in 2 versions, one is stereo and another is the only in Dolby Surround. There are no other Laserdance albums released in Dolby Surround version too. Only this one
Conclusion: thats a recorded moment of changes. It has both something from old material, new material, and these themes which continue on next album. It shows development both stilistically and sonically, standing out from other albums
in every way, but main theme still has room for improvement and completing it. I would say that quite "strong 3" but gets some extra style points.