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Mike Oldfield - Return To Ommadawn CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.06 | 401 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Return to Ommadawn could almost be subtitled Return to Vinyl, given that it sees the welcome return of the "two sidelong suites" structure of Mike Oldfield's early albums in a manner which, if it isn't intentionally chosen to be amenable to vinyl issues, is at least convenient for that purpose.

But fear not - this isn't just a matter of Oldfield grabbing 40 minutes of his latest warblings, slicing them in half and shovelling them out the door. Instead, the album is a thoughtful continuation of the general compositional and performance approach of Ommadawn, and your feelings about that album will likely affect how you feel about this one. You still have the Celtic percussion and acoustic guitar, you still have the soaring guitar solos, you still have the wistful atmosphere. You don't have a happy children's song about a horse to round things off, mind, though you can detect a few gentle lifts from "On Horseback" as the second half comes to a close.

Given how tepid and uninspired Oldfield's occasional rehash of Tubular Bells had become, I was a little worried about this one, but I am very glad to report that it's a genuinely strong sequel to Ommadawn that will enchant fans of that album and put off anyone who was turned off by it. This is clearly no cheap nostalgia exercise, but the culmination of a creative process that Oldfield is genuinely invested in. (He's been toying with the idea of a sequel album like this for a while, and nearly went there with Amarok before that project evolved into the weird hate letter to Richard Branson it became.) This return to Oldfield's classic early approach may be nostalgia-inducing, but it's appropriate for a sequel to such a nostalgia-tinged album as Ommadawn in the first place.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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