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Mike Oldfield - Voyager CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.10 | 244 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Now this is crazy. I know variety is the spice of life and all that, and I was one of many who criticised MIKE OLDFIELD for being predictable throughout the 1980s, but here he's chosen to follow up a space rock album with an album of Celtic tunes. Twenty seconds into the album you know you're listening to something different to 'The Songs of Distant Earth.'

In 1989 OLDFIELD put out the pop album 'Earth Moving'. 1990's 'Amarok' was experimental, a challenging successor to 'Ommadawn.' He followed this with the rock of 'Heaven's Open', then reprised 'Tubular Bells'. Not content with four wildly divergent albums, he created the space rock 'The Songs of Distant Earth'. And now this!

Full points for covering the field. But that's about the best I can say for this record. It's an excellent rendering of Celtic music both traditional and original, in a very CLANNAD sort of fashion, smoothed out for the 1990s palate. Being celtic myself, I find myself preferring THE CHIEFTAINS or, if I'm in a contrary mood, THE POGUES. This is just too bland, too syrupy, too reminiscent of 'A Woman's Heart' or whatever the latest bastardisation is entitled. In my view this is the first OLDFIELD album fully deserving of the perjorative 'New Age' tag, and unfortunately it colours his other works.

Will you like the music? Well, it's undeniably beautiful, without ever rising to the glorious heights OLDFIELD can take us - a limitation of the genre, I'm afraid. It's certainly well played, if restrained. No song outstays its welcome, and there is variety within the narrow framework of the album. In 'Women Of Ireland', the album's mesmerising single, we have a track worth listening to. But I'm far more interested in OLDFIELD'S celtic interpretations when they're presented in a progressive context.

russellk | 3/5 |


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