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Mike Oldfield - The Songs of Distant Earth CD (album) cover

THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.74 | 202 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars To boldly go.

Oldfield's most under valued album? Without a doubt, in my book this is simply wonderful.

As is implied by the title, "Songs of distant earth" has a space theme to it, although this does not by any means dominate the album. The structure will be familiar to all who know "Tubular bells", but the music is somewhat different. It is softer and more melodic, flowing easily from theme to theme.

I have seen the term new age used in reference to this album. For me though, that is a highly misleading appellation. While there is indeed a relaxing quality to the music, it is far more complex, dynamic, and varied than the type of music implied by the New Age connotation. Repetition is kept to a minimum as the albums moves from theme to theme. These themes blend effortlessly together to the extent that they form a complete piece, one is unlikely to only play a single track from this album.

Oldfield's guitar work never sounded better than it does here, one listen to the closing sections will convince you of that. Indeed the closing section is one of the most striking pieces of music Oldfield has even created, the tension building gracefully to a climactic conclusion.

While guitar is prevalent throughout the album, there is the usual diversity of sounds, including some superb female vocal harmonies. Apart from piano sounds, the keyboards are generally used to provide layers of sound, rather that as the lead instrument.

I cannot recommend this album highly enough. I love much of Oldfield's work, but this is undoubtedly where he created his masterpiece.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |

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