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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.31 | 1219 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars 'Ommadawn' is Mike Oldfield in his early years that many would say is his best period and it is hard to argue when one has sat through 'Tubular Bells' his masterpiece. One flick down the page of reviews shows that 'Ommadawn' is gaining 5 star ratings ad infinitum so I prepared myself for something special. Unfortunately I didn't get it. This new age meditation music does nothing for me, except almost put me to sleep, and in fact feels very dated especially with the ending folk song that is quite out of place.

There is no doubt the musicians are very accomplished and have skill, especially heard in the beauty of acoustic guitars, soaring keyboards and some of the angelic vocals. It all seems to blur into the background for me. I had heard this many years ago and dismissed it as one to avoid, but on returning to it for a review I could see how this would appeal to those who love to hear dreamy instrumentals. It is dreamy almost to the point of a cure for insomnia.

Mike Oldfield has a distinctive electric guitar sound, that I have grown accustomed to with 'Tubular Bells' and a compilation I own, I adore 'Five Miles Out' and 'Moonlight Shadow' because the melodies are so infectious and the layers of beauty and creativity are incomparable. But on 'Ommadawn' the melodies are forgettable folky with some nice flute and mandolin, but I can't remember any after the album is over. The two pieces are long and drawn out and don't feel as creative as 'Tubular Bells' that had distinct sections that are unforgettable.

Part 2 opens with guitars, bells, a choir, then Northumbrian bag pipes, and delightful pan pipes played by Terry Oldfield. This is the best passage of music on the whole album. The use of other instruments follows such as a Greek bouzouki, and this is followed by an outburst of soaring guitar at the hands of virtuoso Mike Oldfield. Overall it is an album filled with many excellent musical ideas but it failed to move me emotionally, so I can award it 3 stars. It is just not my style of music, but at least I have heard an album that many claim to be the greatest Oldfield album, but it is nowhere as brilliant as 'Tubular Bells'.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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