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Mike Oldfield - The Millenium Bell  CD (album) cover

THE MILLENIUM BELL

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

2.29 | 102 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Crow
Prog Reviewer
2 stars An average record... With another wrong name!

After the great Tubular Bells III, and the enjoyable and original Guitars, Oldfield came up with this diverse, incoherent conceptual album, with some great moments, and a lot of mediocre parts. The concept of the album is not bad... The desire of Oldfield was to make a musical travel through the last two millenniums of humanity's history, specially the last one... So we have a singing to mother earth (Pacha Mama), the America's discovering (Santa Mara), the romantic period (Lake Constance), Chicago's gangster ages (Mastermind), war (Broad Sunlit Uplands)... And even some futuristic elements at the end!

The idea, reported this way, is not bad... But some songs are just improper for a worthy and respectable career like the Oldfield's one. The repetitive melody in The Dodge's Palace, the silly Mastermind, the bad implemented vocals in Sunlight Shining Through Clouds... I'd only save three of four tracks of this album. The rest is really far from the best Oldfield's moments.

The style of the album is versatile, showing some of the different Oldfield's abbilities... From the pure symphonic elements (Lake Constance, Broad Sunlit Uplands) to the electronic synthethised sounds (Mastermind, The Millennium Bell), to some ethnic moments (Pacha Mama, Liberation), new age elements (Santa Mara, Amber Light) ... Is one of the most diverse albums Oldfield has made, both in style and quality!

Best songs: Lake Constance (the only true jewel of the album... Is like a soundtrack of a romantic film. Could be easily have the sign of Maurice Jarre or John Barry... Not really originial, but I really love this beautiful and evocative song, specially the spanish guitar part!), Broad Sunlit Uplands (like Lake Constance, is another symphonic track... More melancholic, and with a nice piano melody) and Liberation (because it reminds me to Amarok... And it has the typical Oldfield's guitar sound at the end)

Conclusion: this album has great moments, like Lake Constance and Broad Sunlit Uplands... Nevertheless, it's very irregular. Some sublime fragments are mixed up with really mediocre ones, so this album is far from the Oldfield's best. For all this, I recommend you this album only if you are an experienced Oldfield listener. If you are not, please start with another one, because The Millennium Bell is among his weakest efforts.

My rating: **1/2

The Crow | 2/5 |

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