1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This man is not on the rocks!,
This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
I've bought every Oldfield album since Tubular Bells - yes I am that old - and his guitar playing and solo recording has been instrumental (sorry, couldn't resist it) in me picking up a guitar, setting up my own studio and recording / releasing several albums. So I waited for this album with great excitement.
It doesn't disappoint, although be prepared to give it at least three listens before it grabs you. 'Sailing' is understandably the first single given its radio friendly sound and format, and sincerely hope 'Moonshine' is the next, even if drinking illicit hooch may not be advocated by some radio stations!
The ones that have crept up and gabbed me after several listens are 'Following The Angels' and 'I Give Myself Away', the latter definitely being used by future Oldfield fan newly weds for sure. Luke Spiller's vocals are excellent, in that all the words are crystal clear. That said, there are a couple of songs that don't inspire lyrically, but you often get this. They all hang together really well.
Overall, a real fan and crowd pleaser, but two things prevent me from giving it five stars:
1. The band performance - given the calibre of session musician, the performances are very sedentary. I am lucky enough to have the limited edition box set that contains Mike's demos - I'm currently wishing that Luke had done the vocals against Mike's demos!
2. The mastering of the final album - the current trend of 'maximising' the loudness of rock albums has stifled the mixes, especially on the drums (way too much compression used on the high cymbal end) and acoustic guitars. Sounds great for tightness of vocals and bass / kick drum though.
Great to see Mike back, and this is a welcome addition to my extensive Oldfield collection. If you can get your hands on the Mike's demos CD, do so especially for the version of 'Castaway'.