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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover

OMMADAWN

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

4.30 | 1330 ratings

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Ktrout
4 stars Mike Oldfield is undoubtedly someone to be admired. Consider not only his considerable musical ability, but also his creation of sci-fi computer games, and we see that this is someone possessing both talent and imagination. In 'Ommadawn', Mike Oldfield has explored various musical ideas and created an impressive work which is most interesting, and generally rewarding to listen to.

I must say I favour 'Part One' of 'Ommadawn' over 'Part Two'. The nineteen minute long composition is both atmospheric and full of interesting musical material. Oldfield's guitar work throughout the composition is quite diverse, and is particularly pleasurable to listen to. The way in which he arranges the instruments gives the piece a rich polyphonic texture, which never grows either tedious or tiresome. The music becomes progressively intense as we advance forward through this, a musical landscape entirely the product of Oldfield's imagination. It culminates in a great sequence played on some sort of synthesiser in 'Band 4', accompanying undecipherable but pleasant vocals, followed by an atmospheric guitar solo and the final movement of the piece.

'Part Two' of 'Ommadawn' does not quite enjoy the continuity or quality of arrangement as is present in 'Part One'. The Synthesisers throughout 'Band 1' for example, create a bit too much discord to allow for pleasant listening. Additionally, the end of the piece features irritating vocals. This is an entirely unwelcome deviation from the musical genius Oldfield deploys elsewhere in the music. 'Part Two' is not all bad of course; between the discordant beginning and distasteful end lies a whole landscape of great material. Of particular note is the incorporation into the piece of Northumbrian bagpipes (although this doesn't seem to appeal to everyone either). In any case, it's certainly worth a listen.

'Ommadawn' is on the whole a very fulfilling piece of music, 'Part One' being a beautiful composition, 'Part Two' containing a multitude of interesting material, even if it doesn't quite achieve the stature of it's counterpart. I rate 'Ommadawn' excellent (half of it is indeed a masterpiece) and recommend it to those who enjoy, and also those who would appreciate an introduction to, the music of Mike Oldfield.

Ktrout | 4/5 |

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