Edward Snowden can’t save disjointed song “Exit” Single brings up issues of privacy and technology

SnowdenPhoto credit to Jarre

On April 16 French electronic artist Jean-Michel Jarre released the track “Exit,” a collaborative track featuring famed whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The song will be featured on Jarre’s next collaborative effort, Electronic 2: The Heart of Noise. Other featured artists include Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan, Hans Zimmer, and Cyndi Lauper.

“Exit” is reminiscent of the synth-laden techno songs that populated the soundtracks of every late 90s and early 00s edgy action film. The listener may be taken back to their first time seeing Blade slaughter vampires at an underground party, or maybe Neo and Trinity sneaking out of the cave rave to consummate their love. The song as a whole feels derivative, but the production is impressive. Through headphones, the listener is surrounded by shiny synth and a pulsing beat. The synth choices follow the current trend of 80s Wes Craven soundtrack revival. If you liked the Drive soundtrack but felt like it didn’t rave hard enough, this is the track for you.

“Exit” is reminiscent of the synth-laden techno songs that populated the soundtracks of every late 90s and early 00s edgy action film.

Snowden provided spoken sound bites discussing privacy and technology. The song slows to a droning hum and digital ambience, emphasizing Snowden’s speech. The production here is problematic; halfway through Snowden’s appearance it sounds as though maybe a different microphone, recording space, or equalization was used. Jarre overlaid additional copies of the vocal tracks, but glitched them or added a stereo effect to accent Snowden’s grave warnings about the American right to privacy. At this point in the song it felt more like listening to one of Anonymous’ YouTube declarations that it did a techno track.

Jarre and Snowden’s collaborative “Exit” is best suited for fans designer drug fueled dance fests and being bummed out that the government is tracking every move we make. One can only hope that, in the context of the entire album, this song will feel right. Jarre’s collaborative studio album Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise releases May 6, 2016. More information on Jarre’s albums and tour dates can be found here.