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Mike Oldfield - Heaven's Open  CD (album) cover

HEAVEN'S OPEN

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

2.51 | 123 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The name's Michael

For his last album for Virgin, Oldfield produced a somewhat experimental album. While there is no question of him simply going through the motions to fulfil his contract, this has to go down as one of his least successful ventures. While the album is credited to Oldfield, (or more precisely Michael Oldfield, apparently as a joke), it is in fact a band recording.

The album consists of six tracks, five of which occupy side one, the final piece "Music from the balcony" occupying the whole of side two. The five tracks on side one all feature Oldfield's vocals. With the only previous reference point of note being "On horseback", it is pleasing to find that he does in fact have a rich and melodic voice. The only track to really benefit from this though is the softer ballad, "No dream". The other vocal tracks are diverse, including reggae, funk, and rock, but the song writing is weak, and uninspired.

"Music from the balcony" is experimental, with jazz influences, sound effects, minimalist passages, and sections which are more traditional Oldfield. It is however, largely disappointing, tending to wander somewhat aimlessly from one style to the other.

Credit is due to Oldfield for endeavouring to open up new directions, but ultimately this is a disappointing effort, with little to recommend it.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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