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

THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.75 | 218 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars An interesting album from Mike Oldfield and many feel this was his last great one.The inspiration here is from Arthur C. Clarke's book "The Songs Of The Distant Earth". His more famous novel was called "2001:A Space Odyssey". The book we're concerned about here though was Mike Oldfield's favourite novel and so this album is really a tribute to it. In the book the oceanic planet of Thalassa is where the story is concentrated, so you can appreciate that the music here is about space and sea. Hence we get lots of synth washes but this one lacks the many instruments we hear on Mike's earlier albums.This is more simplified with a World Music and spacey atmosphere standing out.There is some narration and samples too.

Actually the first track "In The Beginning" is an extract of an actual event when Apollo 8 was orbiting the moon on Christmas in 1968. We can hear astronaut Bill Anders quoting the book of Genesis.The space transmissions continue in the background of the next track "Let There Be Light" while a beat with guitar, vocal melodies and synths help create atmosphere. "Supernova" is very spacey as you might imagine.The other track I really like is "The Sunken Forest" where we can hear water sounds and spacey synths. Lots of atmosphere here as well.

I do think this is a well thought out album it's just different from his first three classic albums. I'll be the first to say this one doesn't measure up to those three records but this would be in my top five of Oldfield albums.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |

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