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Mike Oldfield - Man On The Rocks CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.15 | 172 ratings

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3 stars Clean, well played, well recorded, sure. But prog not much.

Heavy drums and male echoed voice in Sailing, which is basically a transposition to plain old rock of "Island" Flying Star or "Earth Moving" Hostage.

Celtic influences and Guilmour-esque guitar ŕ la "Songs of Distant Earth" in Moonshine.

Man on the Rocks is a nice ballad starting over classical guitar and slwoly growing with drums, bass and finaly typical Oldfield acoustic guitar and celtic influences again. Great dynamics on this track. This is probably the best track, the most Oldfield-esque (post-Hergest Ridge era), and the most prog of the set.

Castaway is another slow ballad with Gilmour-esque guitar staring mid-way featuring the specific Oldfield tremolos. Once again the closest comparaision coming to mind is "Songs of a Distant Earth".

Minutes is a average beat rock. Think Shadow of the moon with a male voice instead of a female one. You won't remember this one.

Dreaming in the wind is an entertaining rock song again, staring over a Mark Knopfler-esque guitar. Finishes on plain acoustic guitar the Oldfield way. Pleasant. You cannot but swing on this one. Could easily be turned into a single calibrated to reach the hit.

The darker Nuclear (describing a post-nuclear world) is a derivative of "Heaven's Open" No Dream lacking any interest, contrary to the original.

Chariots is an heavy rock with tremolos. Skip.

Following the Angels is a ballad on a slow pace, gradually introducing acoustic guitar and chorus, reminescent of "Discovery" Saved by a bell. You will swing again on this one. Pleasant.

Irčne is a plain blues-rock you will skip.

I Give Myself Away is a slow ballad again with Oldfield acoustic guitar and and short mellotron sequence starting on the third third. You won't remember much of this one either.

I would say it is not that bad. Lot of various influences, nothing bad (nothing to compare with Earth Moving), a kind of resume of the post-Hergest Ridge era (minus the house period, thanks gods). Nothing great, nothing bad. Much more homogeneous than most of previous Oldfield efforts. The sound is perfect. You just feel the genious is gone.

One more to say : at least, this is not an n-th Tubuilar Bells variation contrary to most of the 90's Oldfierld productions. I give a 3 for I am sure a few songs will grow on me.

franp | 3/5 |


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