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Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge CD (album) cover

HERGEST RIDGE

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 382 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

sean galt
5 stars Now I can't say that this will be a good review that will say something new, but I just feel that with this album, it's necessary I put my thoughts in. Perfect album for me to make my first review, because there's not many other albums I feel so strongly for. This album truly deserves the 5/5. Well.. it deserves more, but.. hey.

First of all, I would just like to say that this is in my top five favorite albums, I'd say about.. number 4. I wasn't too fond of it when I first heard it, seeing as I wasn't even that big an Oldfield fan. I have the habit of downloading random albums when I have nothing better to do. One night, I happened to stumble across three albums, each with the name "Tubular Bells." After listening to the first one, I became a fan. Not a big one, but.. a fan, nonetheless. About a year after that, I got bored again, and had been listening to Tubular Bells more frequently and talking about how amazing the album was with friends. It was at that time I decided to get Oldfield's complete discography. I listened to Tubular Bells again, of course, but I also wanted to hear his other, less known stuff. The first non TB album I decided to listen to, of course, was Hergest Ridge.

I liked it, at first. I thought it was just a nice little album, but didn't compare to Tubular Bells. It was within the next week, though, that I began to notice how great the album was. I constantly found myself whistling out random parts, and I decided that I didn't really give the album a real listen. I went home after school that day and for the first time, I actually listened to Mike Oldfield, and heard how amazing Hergest Ridge truly is.

The first part is a great piece, truly atmospheric and lush, with the pastural feel and everything, like everyone else says. It's amazing how positive it is, and I love how deep it gets within itself, how far it can get but still stay within itself. The peace floats along in a beautiful sort of way, and the whole track is just simply awe inspiring. it seperates into smaller pieces, but they all have a sort of reccuring theme that you could understand through just listening.

The second part is, in my opinion, quite possibly one of the best pieces of music i've ever heard. It starts excellently, having the same feel as the first piece. About 4 minutes in though, a huge wave of pure bliss just comes out of nowhere and comes crashing down in what I consider the best example of mastering the art of music. Things slow down after, and that's pretty much the climax of the album, but that's not to say there are other great parts to the rest of the second part. Even the electrical storm passage is a piece that I greatly enjoy, even if it does get repetitive and a bit annoying. How well he makes the piece with just his guitar is amazing. The end is simply beautiful. He goes back to the feel it had at the beginning with a beautiful transition, and it ends in a simply magnificent way.

King Crimson and Pink Floyd are my favorite bands, but one of the things I really love of the album is how spacious it is. There's enough space for you to listen not only to the music, but to yourself through the music within it.. or something. Tubular Bells is great, but it's more of a journey for Mike than the listener, in my opinion. Hergest Ridge is a personal voyage for the listener, and I reccomend it to anyone with 40 minutes to spare and an appreciation for good music.

sean galt | 5/5 |

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