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

THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.76 | 222 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Long before track 12 of this new age disk, called "Tubular World" for obvious reasons, the sense of deja doom lingers about this disk like too many helpings of Manischevitz wine at Passovers past. It's all too sweet coming from the man from whom fans will always expect something more. To be sure, we expect more than a rehash of those famed bells, but we could forgive this for sentimental reasons. What is less easily excused is the sense that artists like DEEP FOREST, ENIGMA, and RUBAJA and HERNANDEZ were doing this earlier and, apart from a few guitar hero moments, better. Even performers like B TRIBE and AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM were able to interject a little more of their own perennially mellow personalities into efforts that appeared a bit later. Whereas on "Five Miles Out" Oldfield was one of the first to blend world beat, ambient and progressive rock, on "Songs of Distant Earth" he is more follower than trend setter, and even as a follower he is...behind.

All that said, this could appeal to fans of any of the aforementioned groups, or even PAT METHENY when he goes all masculine chanty on us, or ENYA before she really took off: in fact, "The Chamber" is 2 minutes of utter bliss highly reminiscent of her work on "The Celts", and unfortunately carried too far on "Hibernaculum". For the rest, it's mostly pleasant but totally unremarkable.

Perhaps a read of the novel on which this is based would yield dividends, but I have a few other items I want to get to first, so it is with disappointment that I conclude that "Songs of Distant Earth" will likely remain coldly distant from any emanating musical source for at least a few more revolutions.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |

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