37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A solid album ...from a neglected legend,
By A Customer
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This review is from: Light and Shade (Audio CD)
Mike Oldfield continues to produce fascinating music that cannot be categorized as it is so 'unpredictable'- and this new double album is no exception. I have been fortunate to hear a promotional copy of the full album, and can recommend this album to his usual followers, as well as anyone who is interested in discovering music that can take you on a journey.
The 'Light' cd opens with 'Angelique'- a catchy piano hook, which builds up with energetic percussion and trademark Oldfield guitar (which fans will be pleased to hear is prominent throughout the album.) 'Blackbird' is piano-dominated and makes for pleasant listening. 'The gate' features mesmerising vocals and is thoroughly relaxing. 'First Steps' builds up in classic Oldfield tradition (fans of 'Voyager's' Mont St. Michel will notice some similarities) 'Closer' and 'Our Father' stick with the celtic/Voyager theme. Rocky returns to solo piano/film music (Michael Nyman-like) and disc 1 closes with a beautiful piano-led theme that certainly depicts the title, 'sunset' - OK i'll be honest, this one is a little like the theme to the dire BBC soap ELDORADO :)
For me, the 'Shade' cd contains the stand-out tracks. Fans of Jean Michel Jarre will do well to hear this, as Oldfield gives him a run for his money in the electronica department!
'Quicksilver' is fairly dancy. Nothing 'out of the ordinary' but still good. 'Resolution' contains a strong guitar hook and absorbing vocal harmonies on the words 're-so-lu-tion' and the wailing vocal/guitar passage is superb.
'Slipstream' is standard fare. Very synth-based/techno. 'Surfing' is a kind of 80's revival of Oldfield songs. Great guitar solo- this is one thing listeners will notice- consistently good guitar passages. 'Tears Of An Angel' after the random fast-strings opener breaks into a brilliant, unmistakably Oldfield theme. His obvious genius shines through this track. 'Romance' is just 90's Ibiza with a classical-guitar tune running through. Not his best moment. However, 'Ringscape' is SHEER BRILLIANCE- everything i would want to hear from this exceptional musician. Wailing guitar, moody minor chords and the introduction of Organ which sounds great in the mix. INCREDIBLE STUFF!! 'Nightshade' features an unusual but interesting sound- it's percussion-driven and is very listenable.
My conclusion- Mike Oldfield is often neglected in this country and this is why his music passes people by. It deserves to be given a try.