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OK, so I *am* a big Mike Oldfield fan, but having said that, of all his albums, this is probably the one most likely to appeal to non-fans. So go ahead, buy it, and have your preconceptions challenged.
It is, quite simply, superb. I saw a TV ad for this album when it came out in 1994 which showed about 20 seconds of track 2 - 'Let There Be Light' - together with the accompanying video, and I knew immediately that I would love the album - though at that time I only had one other of his albums (TB II). And I do - to this day.
It is so unlike anything he has ever done before, yet at the same time it contains his signature guitar sound (not to mention the top notch production), and I would highly recommend it to anyone genuinely interested in music - of any kind.
And the music itself? Space-oriented, yes, but organic and melodic rather than merely electronic and inhuman. Beats, samples, vocals - and of course, the trademark Oldfield guitars. Put it this way, you could listen to the whole thing and not realise it was Mike. But if you knew - you'd know. Trust me - it rocks.
"Welcome back into space, Mike: there's still lots of room out here." As they say.
This may seem like pretentious babble. You have not heard this album. It is simply stunning. The majestic images evoked by the 'Let there be light' track and the splendid 'Crystal Clear' keep my eyes fixed for hours. It is the kind of music which induces visions that drugs attain to. It is difficult to put into words how much this album means to me - as my rambling has proven. Please buy this and open up your eyes to the majesty of far away planets and deep oceans populated by strange creatures.