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Mike Oldfield - Crises CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.48 | 466 ratings

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3 stars A combination of music exploration and song-orientation

I have always said that music is emotion. When I talk about emotion it can be seen from two different angles: the musician or the listener. These two are the major stakeholders in music especially when it comes into music reviewing. For me personally there are music which I merely interpret from the perspective (angle) of the listener - which in this case I am representing one of million listeners; and there are music that I interpret from the perspective of the musician. To me, Mike Oldfield albums are most of them the kind of music that fall into the latter category. Oh yes, I think the music of Mike Oldfield most of them (not all, of course) do not touch my heart and my mind into deep - it's just at the surface area only. Don't ask me why because I myself don't personally know it very well. It could be because most of his compositions are not "song orientated" ones - the one with nice (or even touchy) melody plus excellent harmony. It does not necessarily mean that I do not enjoy the music. In this case, I always try to use the musician's shoes by imagining how he expresses his expression of emotion (of life experiences) into music. That has made life so wonderful ..

A music exploration .

Take an example the album title track "Crises" which I believe that most of you or even no human being who dares to say that this is a bad or even mediocre composition. Oldfield has successfully expressed his opinion of life experiences about crises into music with multi styles and changing tempos. Keyboard and its peripheral instruments were played by himself with Tama Drums (Simon Philips), bass (Phil Spading), some guitar (Ant, Rick Fenn). He tries to convey a message on crises through dynamic of music flows as well as lyrics where he does vocal work as well. In a nutshell I can say that this is not truly a song-orientated but it's more on exploration of his emotion and opinion, expressed in terms of lyrics, notes, chords and scales that make up a good music. With this perspective in my mind I can enjoy this track very well. "Taurus 3" is to me also a music exploration where Mike experiments the shift in tempo.

. and song orientation

However, this album does not merely contain the music exploration itself because there are some song-orientated compositions like "Shadow On The Wall" which has become one of my favorite Oldfiled's tracks. With powerful voice of Roger Chapman, Roger's voice really fits with Oldfield's music and in fact it has, in a way, characterized the music of Mike Oldfield. This track has a nice groove and melody. The harmony between guitar and drums is also good. "Foreign Affair" which features Maggie Reilly on vocal is another one. Jon Anderson of Yes also contributes in one track "In High Places".


For me, spinning this album is a joy - especially for a break after being bombarded with music of Jean Luc Ponty, John McLaughlin, Porcupine Tree DVD "Arriving Somewhere". Switching into Mike Oldfield gives me a new nuance. At album level, I can summarize that "Crises" is a good album with various styles and textures. It combines musical exploration as well as song-orientated composition. Mike Oldfield's music is unique and it can be said no music is alike this album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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