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Mike Oldfield - Incantations CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.93 | 420 ratings

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3 stars "Incantations" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK progressive/ambient rock artist Mike Oldfield. The album was a double vinyl album release on initial release with four side long compositions titled "Incantations Part One to Four". The first CD version is a bit shorter than the original LP version as about three minutes were cut for the CD release (as a consequence of early CDs not being able to have a maximum length, that could feature the entire "Incantations" album). All later CD versions feature the full album. "Incantations" was released through Virgin Records in November 1978.

"Incantations" is what you can safely call an ambitious affair. Four side long compositions are certain to conjure up expectations of progressive greatness. The musical concept behind "Incantations" indeed is quite progressive as Mike Oldfield makes extensive use of the circle of fifths and makes it a mission to modulate through all twelve keys, before moving forward with the next section of a track. Some sections therefore seem very long, although they are played in different keys and therefore do evolve.

As usual Mike Oldfield plays just about every instrument on the album. He handles all guitars, bass, keyboards/synths and percussion. Pierre Moerlen from Gong helps out on drums and Vibraphone and there are other musicians who guest on flutes, trumpet and percussion. There are aslo some quite beautiful vocal parts by Sally Oldfield and Maddy Pryor on the album and some great choir arrangements by The Queens College Girls Choir. The music are generally ambient in nature, which is especially true for "Part I" and "Part II". "Part III" and "Part IV" features more drums and guitars than the the first two and are generally more energetic.

The new age atmosphere of the material, which sometimes reminds me of background music to nature programs on Discovery Channel can be a bit tedious at times, but overall the material are well composed, well played and very well produced. Despite the long song lengths "Incantations" is a relatively accessible release. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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