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Take your time,
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This review is from: Star's End (Audio CD)
I first became aware of this album through Mike Oldfield's 'Boxed' release in the late 1970s. That album consisted of his first three albums plus the bonus LP, 'Collaborations'. One of the tracks on the bonus issue was a lengthy extract from 'Star's End'. Made the year after 'Tubular Bells', it too consists of one composition, but is nowhere near as accessible as Oldfield's music. Though rock instruments are featured, the album is predominantly performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sounds more like a modern classical work.
It's intended as a musical representation of the process signified by the title. This isn't an album that will have you humming. The opening fragments of violin which suggest the gathering of matter towards the eventual chemical reaction are discordant. 'Star's End' is an impressionistic album. The aforementioned extract is probably the highlight of the album. During this, Oldfield plays a trademark electric guitar solo over the backdrop of a steady, portentous timpani beat and an orchestral wall of sound.
The merit of depicting a star's collapse in music will remain open to debate. Nevertheless, this is a well-crafted album, not for the casual listener, but one which rewards patience and attention.