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Sally Oldfield - Easy CD (album) cover


Sally Oldfield

Crossover Prog

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Fresh from the rather startling success of 1978's "Water Bearer", SALLY OLDFIELD returned with a follow up that both solidified her mesmerizing earthiness and demonstrated her greater breadth of interests. The album is really divided into two parts, the first more energetic and bright, the second like "Water Bearer Part 2". However, because the songs in the second part don't seem as well tied together as on her debut, I actual prefer the new approaches.

From a Sally Oldfield perspective, "Sun in Your Eyes" is a heart wide open, highly personal number. But it's the lilting melody and the hint of a squint that really cinches this as one of her true classics. While "You Set My Gypsy Blood Free" is also lovely and poignant, the other jewel is "The Boulevard Song", its breezy verses yielding to an emotional epiphany of a chorus in which the might of her progressive accompanists manage to do justice to the protagonist's free spirit, even as women fall at his feet. It's a bit sad that "Answering You" and "Sons of the Free" seem a bit like weak knock-offs of these two towering tunes. The other new facet of Oldfield is revealed in the catchy title cut that sounds as though delivered by a sassy 1979 version of Petula Clark, but it somehow works well, even if many here might be turned off.

The final 3 tracks are in the vein of her first album, all good but not great, as they only partially recapture the essence of the original power, with nothing to rival or build around "Night of the Hunter's Moon". They could almost be holdovers that didn't quite fit earlier and still don't seem fully in sync. Still, there is plenty to enjoy in all, particularly the mystical quality to "Hide and Seek"

With a couple of sparkling entries to compete for the mantle of best Sally Oldfield song, several other fine tunes, and several more "as the mood strikes" performances, "Easy" is an excellent album that establishes Oldfield's unwillingness to simply repeat a formula. Hard to argue with that.

Report this review (#295821)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Sally Oldfield second album came only an year after her stunning debut. Sophomoric albums are always something of a challenge for the artist, since the famous motto say: you have all your life to write your first record, but only six months to come up with the second. Worse still if the debut was a big success and you have the extra pressure to bring out something of the same calibre or superior. I guess the fact that the single Mirrors (from her debut) was an international hit only made things harder. Too much too soon?

Even 30 years after its release Easy sounds like a bunch of leftovers from Water Bearer. Compared to it, the songs seem weaker and the arrangements a little more conventional. Not that it doesnīt have some really great songs, like the opener Sun In My Eyes, a truly magnificent love hymn in all its glorious simplicity. Sons of The Free is another powerful tune that has all the right elements to make a classic: great hook, very inspired chorus, tasteful arrangement and a great performance of all involved, specially Sally herself using her trademark multi tracked vocals for terrific effect. Hide & Seek is a highlight too, with its folkish atmosphere and reminding me of her brother Mikeīs best works.

The remaining tracks unfortunately are not par to those three and the placement of boring tunes like Answering Me at the beginning of the CD, leaving the strongest cuts at the end of side B of the original vinyl certainly didnīt help matters. Maybe things could be better if she had a little more time to work out her repertoire before entering the studio. But considering her inexperience as a solo artist and the pressures to follow the success of Mirrors, I think she did a quite good job in such short period.

Conclusion: still very good effort by this talented artist. 3,5 stars.

Report this review (#297265)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2010 | Review Permalink

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