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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover

OMMADAWN

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

4.34 | 863 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars This album was missed from my collection until few years ago, when I have found a CD copy in a supermarket at a very cheap price. So the first thing that I can say is that it was value for money.

As Hergest Ridge and differently from Tubular Bells, this can be considered a suite. Even when after few more than 4 minutes the first transition comes with a change in pitch the fading is continous and one doesn't have the impression of a quantic jump like on Tubular Bells.

Many pieces are folky, specially on side A. Don't forget that the very first debut of Mike Oldfield as Sallyangie was mainly folk and produced by a former Pentangle.

The frequent reminds to the main theme, the initial one, are variations in the classical sense. Technically speaking, the guitar work is sometimes impressive. The scales full of legatos give the impression of a speed greater than the effective (3 notes instead of one at a time), but Mike plays very fast in any case.

The choirs are mainly in the background and this gives the music an ethereal sense.

On my CD the side B is divided in two tracks, but the second is not the bonus track. It's just a gap on Ommadawn part II coming at minute 13.55. On Side B the music is more dramatic. The ambient ethereal feelings of side A are a few darker. it gives me a sensation of being awaken in a dream, and this dream has sevral moments. The first 5 minutes have "action", then the classical guitar adds a "pastoral" touch. I'm used to associate mental images to this kind of music. The first five minutes are in a wood, what follows is an open space in the country. This sensation is enhanced by the pipes. The melody played by the pipes is one of the things that remained impressed in my mind since the first listen. The B side can be considered the folky side. The song after the gap is really good.

Another great album from Mike Oldfield, almost ignored by the mainstream public, even if I think it sold more than Hergest Ridge. The fact that Oldfield was unable to repeat the huge success of the debut even by composing probably better music caused him a period of crisis which brought him to the omonimous album, but I consider all his production, until Crisis included, excellent.

Should I suggest only one album to one who wants to explore the early works of this artist, this is the one.

octopus-4 | 5/5 |

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