Album Review: Jean Michel Jarree Misses a Beat on 'Electronica 1: The Time Machine'

French composer Jean Michel Jarre is one of electronic music's key pioneers: His 1976 blockbuster Oxygene presaged the widescreen sweep of techno and trance, while his live ­multimedia ­extravaganzas were rave prototypes. His first album in eight years, Electronica 1: The Time Machine, teams him with a number of his digital progeny, from Moby to M83, as well as machine-music peers Laurie Anderson and Pete Townshend. (Think "Baba O'Riley.")

But, like Giorgio Moroder's recent ­comeback, Deja Vu, the set mostly adds a new sheen to an old formula, as on the limpid surge of "Automatic" with Erasure's Vince Clarke and "Stardust" with trance ­kingpin Armin van Buuren. The tracks with vocals, oddly, have the least amount of character, whether it's the ­dolorous new wave of Moby's "Suns Have Gone," Townshend's ­uncomfortable yelp on "Travelator Pt. 2" or Little Boots' dinky "If...!" The title is a ­misnomer: A time machine should really take you ­someplace more compelling than this.