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Mike Oldfield - The Songs Of Distant Earth CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.73 | 283 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is a fantastic album, and a concept based upon Arthur C Clarke's excellent Songs Of Distant Earth novel which deals with space travellers/pioneers having to deal with the fact that Mother Earth has been destroyed.

I don't think there are many albums where Oldfield has sounded so focused and created such a coherent narrative that takes its listeners from start to finish in the manner of the novel itself.

Some of his guitar work, especially, is supreme, and for fans of what is called New Age music, the choral and female vocal passages, married with the ambient synth effects and decidedly Celtic feel to much of the music, are a joy to listen to. You will also hear more than a few Native American influences in here.

You feel in the music the emotion and the panging for Lost Earth, but also the realisation of space as the final frontier for the survival of mankind as a species, thus looking forward.

There is barely a poor moment on this, and Oldfield really does take you to a higher plain listening to it.

How to rate it, though?

This is an excellent album, and amongst the finest pieces of work this incredibly talented musician ever produced, and that is, of course, saying something. There are moments of soaring beauty contained within this, but it just, to me, falls short of the masterpiece rating of five stars. I could, for example, have done without the repetitive announcements on Only Time Will Tell, which detract a little bit from some of the extremely good Native American vocalisations. Prayer For The Earth, which follows, is far better for just allowing us to listen to a gorgeous, lilting, prayer allied to some ambient keys and acoustic guitar.

Therefore, a very strong four stars, but 4.5 in reality. Very highly recommended.

lazland | 4/5 |


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