Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Shade: the front door to Mike Oldfield's music, 8 Oct. 2005
This review is from: Light and Shade (Audio CD)
Mike Oldfield is one of the world's most diverse musicians and certainly one of the most difficult to classify. He is also the Howard Hughes of self-promotion. And yet he shares with Mozart a high productivity rate and has recorded over 20 albums. So how does anybody who wants to listen to his music find a way in when the albums are so very different?
The answer, for many, will be Light and Shade. This album has so many of Oldfield's trademarks mixed in. Above all, he has an elusive individualistic signature in all of his music that is almost impossible to describe. Its like a scent. It runs through this music strongly: its pure Mike Oldfield. And yet, for many of his longer-term fans, the music is very different to much of his previous output. It mixes in dance, electronica, trance, and a range of ambient styles. Into this mesmerising core Oldfield drains his majestic guitar work. Fluid bass lines accompany expansive and relaxed passages and there is frequent application of real attitude in the guitar work that welds perfectly with the mood of each piece.
The sign of a very diverse musician is that he can upset some of his fans all the time, and Oldfield certainly does that. Which ones get upset varies with each of his unpredictable works. But it is consistent with his artistic integrity that his fans, who may spend their other listening hours on anything between sugar pop to classical or hard rock to minimalism, still find that each album grows on them as their ears peel back the layers and find magic beneath the surface of whatever new clothes he has adopted with each new incarnation.
On this collection, Oldfield demonstrates touches of purity and simplicity with his acoustic and piano work, such as the claming 'Blackbird' and the touching 'Rocky'. Simplicity is one of his virtues. But he turns the special powers on for the awesomely constructed "Tears of an Angel" and the lyrical "Surfing". His ability to turn a tune was once described as second only to Paul McCartney: these two tracks testify to that.
Oldfield is such an uncompromising individual that he writes, plays, records, engineers and produces everything himself. There is no successor for music like this. His individualism means he may be an acquired taste, but he is very accessible on the ear, so this album is quick to make an impression. That makes it one of the better ways to sample his style and techniques.
Hugely admired and respected across all of Europe, regrettably much of Oldfield's work passes without comment in the UK, his own country. One reason for his appeal across Europe may be the fact that being instrumental his music leaps over the language barrier. But curiously, over the year his singles have sold bucketloads, especially in Spain and Germany. The UK market may simply be too narrow for a man whose talents tend to confound the critics and confuse the record companies.
Light and Shade has at least two obvious hits. New or returning listeners who buy it will hear Oldfield's sublime soundscapes and punchy rhythms and wonder why they have heard so little of him around.
This album is an excellent front door in for those who listen to mainstream or contemporary music and who like to have something that challenges the ear with each new piece. And if you don't like it, don't worry, his next one will be completely different again!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details