Ok, I had my hands on this release yesterday and I can't stop listening to it since then.
Oxygène 3, or 14-20 as I prefer to call it, is no Oxygène 1-6 like. You'll find common sounds that are Jarre's sounds, but to me this album is a darker one, and as many says before, not focused on melody as much as Oxygène 1-6 and 7-13 are.
To me Oxygène 7-13 is a Oxygène 1-6 real sequel, same structure, same ideas, and as it was noted before, part 13 trying to copy part 6, and all. You'll find similarities sometime, Part 20 is Part 13 inspired, you can even listen to it few secondes, but this is no Part 13 either.
This album is a true Jarre's journey. You sit somewhere and you listen to it, dreaming, traveling, for 39 minutes.
Part 17 is the most melodic one, but what's different with other "classic" albums is that most of the time previous tracks were here to bring you to the melodic track (most of the time, every two tracks with Jarre). Here, Part 17 is like a pause in the album, each track call next and previous one, except this one. When you listen to the album the first time, it fits strangely in the all album, but you get used to it over time and seing this track as a sort of breathing in the album fits with what I feel now.
The strangest one and most expressiv one at the same time is Part 20 that I would have split in two, but it is a very moving track.
In this whole album, sound is very warm, cosy, I call it blue sound as it is what is closet to this color in my representation. Jarre use simple background (eminent I think), phased synths, loooooaaads of white noise, and all, and many many EMS VS 3 sounds. This is what makes it very Oxygène without being Oxygène. Like Equinoxe is not called Oxygène but is very Oxygène like, this album cold have been called something else, it have Jarre sound, but modern one.
To conclude on this general comments, tracks preview, again with artists like Jarre, is very different from the reality of this album.
I have no intent to write a full review here, juste few thoughts about this album, track by tracks :
Part 14 is a very slow intro, very timeless to me, everything is putted in place slowly for a delightful progression with a leading bass sound and a theme appearing, shared by few synths. Very warm and relaxing track.
Part 15 is Jarre playing with the buttons on his arpeggiator, and doing it so well that you end up with a rhythmic but very pleasant track, fueled with strange noises everywhere, again an eminent background to accompany you, with some Oxygène sounds in the rhythm in the middle of the track, as a breathing. All this end in what can remind you of some Chronology 7 track
Part 16 sounds a bit like Arpeggiator, with a slow construct, addition of elements that lead to a climax point in the middle of the track, followed by a slow deconstruction of it. This track is quite dark, and you need to break this feeling, and for that, you just need a more happy theme like Part 17.
Part 17 is the one for the radio, easy to listen, catchy. Alone, I was disturbed by the opening beat, a bit odd putted this way in the track, in the whole album, it makes sens. Many of you listened to it already, this sharp high sound sharing the lead of the track with an other synth which have a beautifully slow attack.
Part 18 put you back in the mood with a short slow and gloomy track, full of reverb, chorus and phasers. A transition track to lead you to a more trancy track.
Part 19 is the twin of Stardust in many ways. Jarre says he wrote it for collaboration with Armin van Buuren, you definitively see the link there, less trance than Stardust, but you have the spirit of it, and this note shinning alone at 3:37, a bit like the theme starting again in Stardust, all os this with loads of white noise.
Part 20 is for me in 2 parts, first part with theses organ sounds mixed appearing / powering up and fading away / powering down, then you got a reminder of what Oxygène 13 was, a bit as in The Train and the River with Lang Lang.
Part 2 is very very very moving, it's a slow increase with very rich sounds, playing a theme slowly, but taking your guts progressively and surely. One a the best part Jarre ever wrote, minimalist in the theme, rich with the sounds, and timeless.
I still have to try to listen to Oxygène 1-20 in a row, but I have to say that I'm impressed with this release. It's not a remix of what he did before, it sound very familiar but new at the same time, more profound, rich, with many details... love it !
But, that said, people looking for the melodic Jarre, with good melodies, easy to remember and sing, this album will be interesting for you, but it is not the one you'll be looking for. In a way Electronica 1 is more what you're looking for for the recent work, this one is a bit more like Electronica 2 in the spirit.