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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover

OMMADAWN

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

4.34 | 878 ratings

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EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I must say, I completely underrated this man. I liked some albums that I had from him, such as "Tubular Bells", "Five Miles Out", and I don't mind "Crisis", but I never really studied him well. I realized that I needed more albums by Oldfield. So, I got Ommadawn, which was very well reviewed here in PA.

There are some moments in "Ommadawn" that make me want to cry of joy. A beautiful, touching, and delicate album, I loved it immediately. So far, "Ommadawn" is my favorite Mike Oldfield album, and one of my favorite Crossover Prog albums.

Honestly, I can't belive this album was released in 1975: it sounds more like 1995, mainly because of the crystal clear production, and the revolutionary idea of mixing pop, classical, prog, and ethnic music and instruments.

The album's structure is not so revolutionary, but still a very brave thing: two songs, one per LP side. But, like whoever loves Oldfield knows, Mike always had albums with very few songs, and Ommadawn certainly wasn't his first one.

"Part 1" is do far my favorite Mike Oldfield song: 19 minutes of beautiful, touching music, full of amazing moments, that will move whoever listens to it. It starts with a very melancholic and dreamy atmosphere, some more instruments come along with the melody in different parts, like the solo of the acoustic guitar. There's also a sort of chorus, always beautiful and nostalgic. In the chorus, we can hear a nice electric guitar solo. After around 4'30', the atmosphere is enlightened, and the music is more cheerful, especially thanks to the flute. This atmosphere is more typical of Oldfield. The melody changes pretty frequently, but the mood is always the same. Around 7'00'', a very cheerful sounding flute comes in, and a new part of the composition has begun. This one is very much influenced by Celtic music. Shortly after though, the music, despite being still happy sounding, goes to a much lower tone. A beautiful but guitar solo comes in during this part, giving the music more of a Symphonic Prog touch. After the solo, the initial theme is repeated, with a lovely new element, the keyboarded choir. The flute also repeats the theme, and shortly after a new part comes in: percussion, and you can also hear some women singing in the distance. A few other instruments come in this part as well. Around 16'00'' a new theme comes in, a lot more epic and arcane sounding. Lovely use of both electric and acoustic guitars here. Once again, the main theme is repeated, with the use of a different type of keyboards (it might some other instrument, I frankly am not so good in recognizing instruments). The guitar then becomes the main instrument, playing a solo. The ending is a little weird, and since the music stops completely, until the end of the song.

"Part 2" is a little inferior in my opinion, but they are still many memorable moments. The beginning is completely keyboard driven, with also the presence of an organ. It sounds like a cascade of sounds, all playing just a few notes. This is truly a wonderful part. The melody gets clearer after a while, until 3' 30'', where the guitar and bells come in, to richen the sound more. A flute is also present. Everything stops at 5'0'', except the guitar, that still plays, but then that fades as well. A new theme starts, a lot more delicate and beautiful sounding, since this time it is completely acoustic guitar driven. The electric guitar comes in after a while, followed also by the bagpipes, which give the composition a higher level. The melody is wonderful, and it goes on for a while, until around 10'00'' , when the theme is changed, and the mood goes down a bit, and the atmosphere get's a little more mysterious, until around 11'20'' , when the sound get's epic, thanks to keyboards. At around 11'50'', the music get's another twist, this time with a touch of Celtic, like in the short part in "Part 1", the electric guitar goes along as well, with a solo, until the end comes unexpectedly.

There's also in some versions of the album a hidden track, "On Horseride" which includes also vocals, bringing the composition up to 17 minutes, instead of 14. But I'm yet to hear this.

As a conclusion, I say that this is an essential masterpiece, an extremely important album for Crossover Prog and for the whole Prog Rock genre generally speaking.

EatThatPhonebook | 5/5 |

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