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Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 620 ratings

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1 stars Hergest Ridge part one feels like a very long intro to something that never comes. I just keep wondering when it is going to start, but it never really gets off the ground during its 22 minute running time. There is absolutely nothing offensive about this first piece, it is just very unremarkable and left no lasting impression on this reviewer whatsoever despite several tries. Hergest Ridge completely lacks the melodic aspects of Tubular Bells, Ommadawn and Incantations.

Part two is much better in one respect but not in another. Part two does indeed have at least some unexpected twists and turns, but not too much to get excited about after all. The up-tempo and noisy part that starts at 9:40 into the track is something of a sonic atrocity and it really hearts my ears! It goes on for several minutes before it changes slightly just to go on for several more minutes - Mike Oldfield is the master of repetition here. Listening through this whole passage is a real challenge for my poor ears. This is just awful and very na´ve and childish composition much like some of the worst parts of Tubular Bells. But on Tubular Bells Mike knew how to move on to something else. The acoustic ending Hergest Ridge part two is very nice though, and a breath of fresh air after an overlong trial of boredom and near torture.

Melodically this album is like a journey through an enormous dessert. The first part of the journey is insignificant and quite boring; the second part starts out all right but towards the middle Mike is running out of water and the up-tempo part could be taken to depict him struggling for his life until he finally reaches a small oasis. He was really drying out of inspiration here. Fortunately, he would find new inspiration at the oasis for his next album, the very much better Ommadawn.

I really gave this album several chances to see what I was missing, but I still don't get it. Sorry Mike!

SouthSideoftheSky | 1/5 |


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