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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.31 | 1268 ratings

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3 stars This release was recommended to me by a close friend pretty early on in my exploration of Mike Oldfield's discography and turned out to be my most played album of his. Unfortunately, this repetition had more to do with me wanting to uncover the secret that made so many other people so enthusiastic about Oldfield and, in retrospect, it's never really been a big favorite of mine.

Ommadawn is pretty accessible from the get-go but listening to it many times uncovers a whole new spectrum of hidden passages here and there. But most of its charm disappears after about 10-15 revisits and what you're left with is just a new spin on Tubular Bells formula but with more of a New Age spin to it. Reading most of the other reviews of this release does seem to split the fans where some agree with my opinion while others consider Ommadawn to be superior to most of the other albums in Oldfield's catalog.

Ommadawn Part 1 is in my opinion the most interesting piece on the album but even it has a few bumps along the way like the somewhat awkward transitions between the individual sections. I always tend to imagine Oldfield sitting around in the studio trying to piece this beast of a composition together. The middle section is where the track really starts to shine but some of that charm disappears towards the track's ending where chanting vocals kick in. Ommadawn Part 2 takes a while to start due to the prolonged intro section. Once it does commence, I don't hear anything that cannot be regarded as just a reprise of the themes from Ommadawn Part 1. The ending of the piece reminds me a bit too much of Tubular Bells which is something that Oldfield should, in my opinion, have avoided. The added bonus track, On Horseback, right at the end is very enjoyable but lacks coherence with the rest of the album and even though 2010 mix of the album, available on Spotify, does smooth the transition a bit, the differences of moods is still too much for me.

Ommadawn is another interesting release in Oldfield's catalog and most fans have a legitimate reason to like it. Unfortunately for me, I just can't get past my my preconceived notion of it sounding too much like a I rehash of Tubular Bells.

**** star songs: Ommadawn Part 1 (19:05)

*** star songs: Ommadawn Part 2 (17:20)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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