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Mike Oldfield - Q.E.2  CD (album) cover

Q.E.2

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 188 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I cannot decide upon Mike Oldfield. Neither what he stands for, nor his musical belonging. Is it prog? He certainly is. What he has done is carving out his very own land of prog interpretation. It is symphonic yet not all out. It is folk, still not. The music is much more than that. It is Oldfield. With his very own, quite piercing tone bursting out of his electric guitar and the melodies pushing forth he is quite unique. You are able to distinguish him and his sound amongst a million artists. None is quite the same.

That's alright, then, but is it any good? As Oldfield goes, in general, I find his music to be sort of noodling and simply uneventful, at most times devoid of humour. Now, I guess I have to be honest: I am not acquainted with the mans discography to the level of being an expert. Still I think I've heard just enough to draw that conclusion. And no, Oldfield is not all boring and all noodling. There are most certainly music of brilliance. The man is clearly gifted.

QE2 is probably the album of Oldfield's I' ve come to enjoy the most. Sure, there are som cheesy parts (Wonderful land, for instance) and some quite uneventful (like Sheba). Apart from that there are some really interesting ones, like Conflict and Arrival. Both tracks, especially Arrival, possess that certain charm of the outbreak of the 80's I like. Arrival is quite atmospheric and Conflict quite aggressive.

Still, the highlights are Taurus 1 and the title track. Taurus 1 is a real builder, beginning quite humbly in order to progress and turn into something truly great. QE2 is a track I at first found to be too happy in sound but I have changed my mind and now I sort of love it.

Of interest, for those reading this, may be to say a few words about the deluxe edition, whichis the one I own. Disc 2 is a live recording from 1981, which is quite good. I am not, in general, a lover of live albums but this is interesting. Of the greatest interest is the tracks off QE2, of course, which do benefit from being performed live. This is true, in particular, with Conflict, Mirage and Taurus 1.

Conclusion: QE2 is Oldfield at an inspired point in his career. It contains both highs and lows, resulting in an album I cherish but somehow only like. I do think, however, it is quite an entrance to Oldfields territory. It is prog (Taurus 1), neo-prog (Conflict), new- age (Mirage), folk (Celt), soundtrack music (arrival) and feel good-ish (QE2). All in all there isn't really a bad, as in really bad, track on QE2. It is a collection of varying soundscapes and emotions and as that I think it is Oldfield at his best and to some extent most accessible.

GruvanDahlman | 3/5 |

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