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Mike Oldfield - Exposed CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.73 | 70 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Live albums are always a trade off. They are inevitably inferior in sound to their studio counterparts, but provide an insight into the live experience. And live progressive albums usually have the added bonus of extended or reworked versions of old favourites.

Bearing that in mind, this album is an oddity. Sound quality is surprisingly good, due to the number of musicians (including an orchestra), and instead of extended versions, we are offered edited versions here. And in my view, with respect to 'Incantations', this is a very good thing. Most of the directionless soundscapes are pared back: had MIKE OLDFIELD been this disciplined when composing the studio version of 'Incantations' it would have been a four, possible five-star album. I know some people favour the studio version, but I value OLDFIELD for the beauty and juxtaposition of his melodies, something lacking on the studio version. This version of 'Tubular Bells' also better expresses OLDFIELD'S original vision for the piece, though I prefer the studio version - a choice which may owe more to familiarity than quality, I suspect. The last piece, 'Guilty', is the main 'Incantations' theme set to a disco beat. It would be cheesy but for the excellence of the tune: a fine, upbeat way to finish the album.

I'm not a big fan of live albums, but I treasure this one. The highest compliment I can pay to this album is it makes me I wish I'd seen this set live.

russellk | 4/5 |


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