"Light + Shade" follows the chilled-out style Mike established with 2002's "Tres Lunas", combined with the dance/electronic influence of "Tubular Bells III" and the result is an interesting double album.
The first disc, "Light", is made up of melodic and floaty guitar/piano-led tracks. Whilst it's a pleasant and uplifting listen, I personally found it became boring, and lacked the adventure I was hoping to find. However. "Angelique", "First Steps" and "Our Father" really stand out as the best tracks on this disc..
However, the second disc, "Shade", is much more interesting. Since "Tubular Bells III", there has been a darker, heavier, more electronic side to Mike's music trying to get out, and he has finally unleashed it here. "Quicksilver", "Resolution" and "Slipstream" are all fantastic, driving tracks. Towards the end of the disc there's the beautiful hammond organ-led "Ringscape", a truly epic track, and the haunting closing number "Nightshade", which for me is the album's best song.
"Light + Shade" was made almost entirely with music software, most significantly vocal software packages, Cantor and Vocaloid. "Surfing" and "Tears of An Angel" are two of the tracks which use the synthesised vocals, which is effective in places, and irritating in others.
Overall "Light + Shade" is an uplifting and atmospheric album, and I would recommend buying it for the "Shade" disc alone.