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on 1 June 2017
A "song" album from MO, unusually using the same vocalist throughout -- eerie scandiwegian-style vocals coupled with established instrumental breaks, hugely melodic in a style we're used to from Mike, nothing really astonishing here, but a number of these tracks could easily be thrown out for covers -- Moonshine sounds like something from a Runrig album, and Sailing could have been a major hit for a modern boy band if given a slightly different production. Holds nicely together, unlike MO's earlier "song" albums, which were always very piecemeal with different guest voices. Has a very retro feel when compared to the non-melodic, over-repetitive, off-the-shelf music favoured by today's artists. All your favourite guitar tones, used by MO over the past 40 years.
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on 17 March 2015
Bought it since the release. I'm a huge fan of Mike Oldfield, ever since I've heard Crises. I'm also a huge fan of his Light & Shade record that does not have many fans. But here, in Man on the rocks, he has surpassed himself in a number of ways. It's the first fully vocal album for Mike since very long time, probably since Islands in 1987.
It's bursting with emotions. You can feel happiness, sadness and nostalgia at the same time. It's the crown of his achievement and everything he has ever done. It's a conceptual work, meaning that it's not just a collection of randomly picked songs.

Every single song feels well crafted and carries certain emotions. Luke Spiller is such a talented and passionate young singer. Mike couldn't pick better "interpreter" for his songs! The tracks that move me really deep are Sailing, Man on the rocks, Moonshine, Castaway, Minutes, Dreaming in the wind, Chariots, Following the angels, I give myself away.
I have to say that Sailing, Man on the rocks and Dreaming in the wind are up with the finest and best Mike Oldfield songs he has ever done. There aren't many artists out there that could send the shivers down your spine like Mike did it in Man on the rocks song. What a beautiful and moving masterpiece. I love this man.

My wife is also a big fan of Mike Oldfield and she finds this album her favourite of all!
And I tend to agree, both of us are so attached to it. Together with Voyager it's been the most played Mike Oldfield album in our house of the last year, and will probably remain like that in 2015!

If you ever liked Mile Oldfield, even just some of his songs - by all means buy this album! Just be prepared to spend some time with it. It will be a beautiful and rewarding experience.
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on 15 November 2016
I like this album, there is great recording quality in it and some classic Oldfield tunesmith style to be found. Realy, i prefer Tubular Bells, Ommadawn, Hergest Ridge, Incantations, etc; I am sure Mike could repeat his ability to create this atmospheric music again but he did not try at all on this album. I am pleased with the album anyway. There is some vintage Oldfield in it from the Moonlight shadow style.

Mike is still very young and energetic, and the world is gagging for another album like Tubular Bells, nobody has done that style of music for decades. Man on the Rocks isnt really what Mike is known all over the world for and i wish he would recognise this when he thinks about what next.
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on 3 March 2014
Like anyone who buys Mike Oldfield they are going to be a fan and know a lot about his music and probably like me have all the albums. Yes there are great albums beside Tubular bells,think of Ommadawn, Five Miles out and Crisis to name a few, and then the mediocre ones like Islands, and Heaven's open.
Man on the Rocks for me falls more into the Mediocre pile, starting with the very poppy and excellent Sailing, you get a very distinctive Guitar solo and and great vocal from Luke Spiller and is the strongest track of the album, and made the Radio 2 A Playlist.
The album seems to go on in a similar vain with Moonshine but gets a bit of a lift with the title track "Man on the Rocks" and to be honest this sounds like a very 80's,sound, infact you could be mistaken that you were back in the 80's, nothing wrong with that its just for me how I describe the general sound of this album.
This is not a bad album, but it is by no means a classic album hence the four star rating.I just can't say this is as good as Criss, Five Miles out or Tubukar bells, and saying it is, well that's a bit mad. If your looking for the classy sound of say Music for Spheres or the instrumental sound of Tr3 Lunas two of his more recent efforts which I have to say I prefer you will not find it here, if you love Islands Heaven's open or Earth Moving, this fits into that style. I have to say I was very much looking forward to this album, but have to be honest Mike Oldfield works better on his own as opposed to a cast of 1000's .
I love some of Mike Oldfield vocal tracks moonlight shadow, Five miles out, Tricks of the light all great, but sometimes like the lyrics from the latter 80's albums, the words are just not brilliant and that's apparent here.
The deluxe version gives you the album in instrumental form and it gives a different feel to the album, I would say for the better .I'm am glad I have purchased this but I am a little disappointed
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on 16 March 2014
I pre-ordered and only got the single disc version. My Son has downloaded and provided the Instrumental version for me. This is much better than the one with vocals, but at least the lyrics are good and meaningful.

As a dyed-in-the-wool MO fan, I found this new album (at first listening) to be hugely disappointing, but there are a couple of tracks that I think will grow on me... you probably know the kind I mean if you are a "fan" like me.

It is all a bit in the "easy-listening" mode, but thankfully not of the "straight-to-Supermarket PA" type.

Not be confused with Moonshine (the final 'track' on TB2) this 'new' Moonshine, as many dedicated and keen-eared MO fans will have instantly spotted, includes the main theme from "Song of the Boatmen" which was one of a few discarded tracks originally intended for his magnificent "The Songs of Distant Earth" album dating back to 1994 - yes, 20 years ago. So Mike is, once again, regurgitating and re-working some old material. It is an unfortunate trait that he has sadly adopted in a number of his more recent recordings.

I would urge anyone to concentrate on the Instrumental version, as there IS some nice music there.
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on 19 July 2015
A very different album from Mike Oldfield, no instrumentals and you'd be forgiven for taking a while to realise this album had that distinctive Mike Oldfied touch. Let's start by giving due credit to the vocalist, Luke Spiller, who barely gets a mention in the sleeve notes. I first heard "Sailing", when it was the featured RoadRoller on Big L Radio, and loved it. That was some time ago and I still love it, it's ubdoubtedly the best track on the album. That said, there's plenty more to enjoy. A couple of the tracks I didn't like so much and thought they were slightly depressing. On the whole though, definitely a worthy addition to the collection. Other stand-out tracks on the album for me were "Moonshine" and "Dreaming in the wind".
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on 20 March 2014
I'd heard previews about how good this album was - and they weren't kidding. From the first play through, the gorgeous music invaded my head and I'm still humming it now. Avaliable in several formats, I opted for the 2 cd pack with Vocal and Instrumental versions giving me the option, depending on my mood.

'Sailing' does not, as you might have surmised, feature Rod Stewart, but is in fact a soaraway, majestic beast of an anthem, which you will be humming for days, nay weeks, after you have heard it! I've not see a 7-letter lyric stretched out to such an extent before..... 'Sai- ai -ailing" but it works - brilliantly!

From here the album goes off into different moods, my picks would be 'Chariots', 'Man on the Rocks' and 'Castaway' but there's not a naff track in this sumptuous offering from the maestro. Guitars talk to you, the listener and lull you into their various moods.
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on 7 May 2016
As a long standing fan of Oldfield, any new album is cause for celebration, particularly as his output has dropped considerably in recent years.

However, his last two releases have both been a disappointment as they have diverged from what he does best, long multi-layered instrumental works. After his classical experiments with Music of the Spheres, this time we have what he referred to as a 'rock' album which is full of largely forgettable tracks - pleasant enough as background music but lacking the Oldfield 'Midas touch'. To add to the woes, the second disc in the set includes what are described as instrumental versions of the tracks - in reality just the stuff on the first disc with the vocals removed.

It's a shame but I hoped for far more from this album.
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on 15 October 2015
I have been a Mike Oldfield fan from the beginning, I own all his U.K. releases, but this is not the best work from this incredibly talented musician... and the supplementary disc is a waste of time - I thought he would have made instrumental versions of the songs, but it only contains all the backing tracks. O.K. if you want a DIY karaoke.... come on Mike, most of your fans, like me, are mature appreciaters of your wide ranging talents and originality - Amarok, Songs of Distant Earth, Millenium Bell, and all the other Bells....
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on 11 March 2014
For me it's one of Mike's most satisfying albums to listen to and provides great company on my daily walks/bike rides. I don't believe Mike intended it to have the big WOWs of his innovative instrumental masterpieces (that I prefer to his previous song-based albums) but what a wonderful contrast it is to those albums .... I LOVE IT ! . Mike's songcraft has improved and the variety displays Mike has a wonderful imagination esp. in the way the whole album hangs together. Great thought must have gone into this aspect of the production and composition. It does amaze me how all this music comes from just one man ! ... A very special man ! LIVE LONG AND PROSPER MIKE !
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