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Mike Oldfield - Amarok CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.06 | 550 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars 1.5 Stars, rounded up because I don't get it and others do.

Simply unlistenable, despite excellent musicianship and some scattered moments which are pretty nice. Mike Oldfield plays almost all the instruments in Amarok, which is quite a complex album. That says a lot about him. If only this album didn't have over thirty minutes of auditory torture, then it would be something that I would enjoy.

The album starts on a great way, with complex acoustic guitar harmonies in a fast tempo. I love that acoustic showmanship, making the first two minutes of the album the highlight for me. Unfortunately, it changes into calm background music ruined by random bursts of ultra-loud orchestra clashes, electronic voices saying Happy, and other out of place loud bursts.

minutes 6-10 feature a pleasant section. The next four minutes are inoffensive, but unremarkable Oldfield-style playing. Unfortunately, minute 15 is lighthearted ridiculousness with beeps, awful quirky music and vocals saying something like What the in a way you can't take seriously. After a dull moment, the brilliant acoustic theme of the beginning brings relief to my ears.

Around minute 22 to 24, there is a quite progressive section which is not bad at all. Adventurous but without the unbearable quirkiness which unfortunately appears, including the h-h-happy? vocals. A someone minimalist and dull moment leads way to the nice background music around minute 3-5 which was ruined by the h-h-happy? vocals. Appearing without the annoying interruptions, it's quite nice.

So anyways, the incoherence (did I say that this album is quite disjointed?) and inconsistency in quality goes on for several minutes until a truly hideous part comes that you have to hear in order to believe it: a synth loop that is fantastically childish in a bad way combined with annoying vocal grunts.

After a few incoherent minutes in the mid 40s (min.) of the album, we get a nice section ruined by telephones, cheesy grunts and more. Anyways, there is a supposed climax which is just an overplayed vocal-harmony theme slightly louder. Then we get the h-h-h-h-h-h-hAPPY?. Fortunately, there is the real climax just before the ending, which is more bombastic and more remarkable.

I will give it a 1.5 stars rounded up because it must have taken a lot of effort to do and clearly many enjoy it and understand the album better than I.

Me? I just not only find it a chore, I also find it embarrassing to listen to Amarok when not alone and parts make me angry. So, my personal enjoyment is actually one star out of five.

Zitro | 2/5 |


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