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Mike Oldfield - Tr3s Lunas CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield

Crossover Prog

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2 stars At first it seemed pointless to me... but in time it grew onto me somehow. I didn't mean to like it and still don't like it, but it's there and sometimes it finds itself in the stereo, somehow. Pieces are mostly slow or at least non-aggresive and they don't make you imagine or sing anything. This is the album that simply is, and you can focus on something else while listening to it, save for the one vocal song (2b free) that you can easily skip. Now, a year after I bought it, I can even say that I enjoy some passages. To conclude: slow, chillout music, which noone would miss if it weren't there, but its there and it might help you relax while you're doing something else.
Report this review (#28506)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This collection of short instrumentals is OLDFIELD's leanest album in years. It's the least complex or flashy output from him I've heard in a while. There are no lightning-fast guitar runs or brain-jarring time changes. Think of it as "Mike Oldfield, Simplified." There are some great melodies floating around, and it's great in headphones. While it has the unfortunate task of being compared Mike's own work, the album is quite good - just different from any Oldfield album I've heard before. This is a good addition to you collection, but if you haven't acquired discs like "Amarok," "Hergest Ridge" or "Islands," start there.
Report this review (#28507)
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Three stars only beacuse my 10 year old son thinks this deserves a five. I am getting him into Songs from Distant Earth instead. Generally this album is nothing short of bland and is more a soundtrack to his computer game of the same name. It is a chill out album deluxe with very little risk taking, nice for hotel foyers in the Algarve.Best tracks are ' Tr3s Lunas' and ' Return to the Origin'
Report this review (#28508)
Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tres Lunas is a good album because the way he plays the instruments . For example Misty playing guitar which sounds like a saxaphone. But it does get quite boring after awhile.I prefer Songs Of The Distant Earth and Platinum.Tres Lunas is a good album but it is more for his computer game of the same name.
Report this review (#28509)
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Music for the computer game with the same name, but I don't mind that, for most of us this is an album. This contains laid-back tunes which makes really good relaxing or ambient music. In contrast to some other late M.O-albums this one doesn't go into Ibiza-90's-disco- rhythms. It's mature and in line with it's time. If I should point out the nearest reference in the Oldfield catalogue it has to be "Songs of Distant Earth" (1994), but without the "Enigma sound-alike-singing". "Tr3s Lunas" has similar big/airy sound, although less "new-age". This one is the better of the two, and I try to figure out why it's so underrated. I don't know. To me "Tr3s Lunas" was a big and positive experience, despite it's soft and unpretentious style. 4,5 stars!
Report this review (#76358)
Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars "Hello? Can I talk about MIKE OLDFIELD'S new album? Yes, Tr3s Lunas. Is there no one who will talk to me?"

Dammit, they've put me on hold. Urgh, and with the worst kind of elevator music. Come on, come on, I can feel my brain leaking out of my ears ... wait a moment. That sounded suspiciously like a trademark OLDFIELD guitar note. No, surely not.

But it is. 'Tr3s Lunas'. (The '3' affectation in the name probably derivative of the Wip3out PS game, laden with the techno music OLDFIELD had become so enamoured of.) MIKE OLDFIELD managed to surgically remove all remaining passion and flair from his composition and in 2002 created an album that is the very essence of blandness.

Now I've been the subject of some fairly sharp reviews in my time. My novels have been called rubbish (check out for some particularly cruel reviews). So I know how it feels to be lambasted, which is why I don't do it lightly to others.

I'm careful to indicate in a review who might like a work, if I don't like it myself. I have to admit I'm hard pressed to think of who this album might appeal to: certainly not to anyone who wants to listen to music for its own sake. Perhaps if someone needs inoffensive background noise, this might do the trick.

This is the soundtrack to a computer game. I certainly hope the game is more exciting than the music. Meanwhile I'm still on hold ...

Report this review (#139453)
Posted Friday, September 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars I am certainly closer to Russelk than to Ricochet for this review.

New age stuff, boring stuff should I say. For about an hour! Not a great experience, I'm afraid. At times, some melodic and nice moments are even encountered : "No Mans Land" is by far my favourite song (the only one should I say). But the global feeling is not really strong. Even if "Return To The Origin" is pleasant as well. Ambient of course, but with a great and passionate melody. But these background beats are just a pity.

The experience turns sour with the next few tracks. I can't really endorse such useless sounds. Indeed elevator music. Or supermarket one. your choice. I guess that you have the idea. There are many "press next" T type of songs included in here. The trio "Viper", "Turtle Island" and "To Be Free" is particularly hard to digest. Get your "pastille Rennie" to survive.

Mike is trying to match a new era (the computer game one). Unfortunately, I'm an old freak who is not at all in the matter (but my eighteen years old son is, but he is not writing reviews on PA). And this type of music is just irritating.

Can't help Mike. You have produced so many great albums (OK, it was quite a while ago). This one won't serve you well, I'm afraid.

I really don't like it. One star.

Report this review (#163493)
Posted Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Moon blandness

Released in 2002, "Tres lunas" (Three moons) was Mike Oldfield's first album for the 21st century. In an apparent effort to move with the times, the music here was written to accompany a "Fully interactive three dimensional musical PC adventure game". A demo version of the game appears on the disc, the full version being available via Mike's website. It would appear the complete version of the game is now free of charge too. I shall not get embroiled in the game aspects, mainly because I have not played it(!), but will focus on the music on the disc.

The music is described by Oldfield as "chill out", to complement the relaxing nature of the game. The style here is much closer to New Age than to the early efforts of the angry young man who recorded "Tubular bells". The fade out in mid-recital on tracks such as "No man's land" belie the fact that there is no real beginning, middle and end to the tracks, just simple repetitive melodies and soothing sounds.

Mike's sister Sally provides the vocals on "To be free", two versions of which are included on the disc. This pleasant piece of light pop rock offers a refreshing alternative to the rest of the album.

Mike's lead guitar work is of course pleasingly familiar to the ear, and in relative terms there is a bit more meat to pieces such as "Return to the origin". From that point of view, fans of Oldfield's work may find enough here to make the acquisition worthwhile. Those with just a passing interest in his output though would be best advised to delve further back in the catalogue.

Report this review (#179104)
Posted Thursday, August 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I liked few Mike Oldfield albums many years ago, and even have ONE in my collection till now (Ommadawn). Starting from mid-80-s I missed any interest to his pop/new age works, almost forgot about him.

Now I by chance got the possibility to listen Oldfield first album in XXI century ( or in new age, if you want), "Tr3s Lunas". So, I wasn't surprised too much ( for good or bad).

First of all, this album is heavily commercial by it's origin. Originally it is a computer game soundtrack, game is included , but to unlock software you must to pay some extra!

The music is very safe, mid-tempo well balanced and polished guitar/keyboards mix. World new age, as I expected. Separate compositions are melodic, but totally faceless, and main reaction when listening is sleepy feeling. In some moments the repetitive structures sound as a joke!

Not everything is so bad. First pleasant surprise is there are few guitar driven rock pieces, with quite nice if very cliché-sounding guitar line. And the second - album sound ( possibly because it is first of all game soundtrack) isn't overproduced, so in total all music is quite acoustic ( but boring at the same time).

All in all, just another usual Mike Oldfield album, hardly attractive for listener, but still possibly pleasant for Oldfield heavy fan.

Report this review (#257423)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars While I can't argue against "Tr3s Lunas" being anything but a minor entry in a major and prolific artist's discography, I also can't argue against its suitability as a backdrop for relaxation. I suppose that in itself is a form of damning by faint praise in these parts. The lack of variety in tempos and the similarities in structure and melody combine to confirm both the positive and negative aspects of this release and, while it's still superior to the sanitized Celtic new age of "Voyager", its formula was easily bested by "Light and Shade" a few years later.

Due to the prevalence of soporific and simplistic instrumentals of relatively short duration, the moments that stand out are the few with vocals, specifically "Thou art in Heaven" with its spoken title, atmospheric keys, expressive lead guitar, faux saxophone, and rumbling bass, and "Be Free" in its various guises, the latter in no small measure to sister Sally's performance. "Landfall" resurrects the original "Tubular Bells" theme for the umpteenth time but somehow refreshingly, implying that even even stale TB is better than the fresh product surrounding it .

For full disclosure I have experienced hours of blase enjoyment from "Tr3s Lunas". While I am a fan of the man and his music overall, I'm not sure you need to be one to appreciate this in any sort of altered state, but I doubt you will be over the moon about it. 2.5 stars rounded down.

Report this review (#1701316)
Posted Sunday, March 12, 2017 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have a feeling this review's going to be very compact.

"Tr3s Lunas" came out some ~15 years before I gave it a chance. Low ratings and general lack of interest for Phase 4 Oldfield ("Guitars" to "Music of the Spheres" in my book) held me back for so long. I knew what to expect, so that's a third reason.

But once I tried it I came to a conclusion: this is not bad, it's just plain.

Oldfield chose a very safe route. "Tr3s Lunas" is soothing, very modest in melodies, without radical tempo changes or unusual rhythms. Elegant, but minimalistic piano is as much of a driving force as the guitar, synthesizers ooze with atmospheric textures, sporadical vocals serve as another instrument.

I described most of the following "Light + Shade" in a similar manner, but honestly these albums sound very much alike. The differences? Well, "Lunas" are more successful in chillout department. Emulated saxophone is more prominent, atmosphere sometimes gets "Blue Velvet hazy" and intimate. "Light + Shade" tried to couple two contrasting worlds of emotions with mixed results; here Oldfield more often shoots for nocturnal soundscape. Certainly, there are exceptions to that rule, such as naive "To Be Free" or earthy "Turtle Island". There are some traces of sci-fi inspirations too, my favorite being "Return to the Origin" and "Sirius". These two are highlights, hands down.

Unfortunately majority is far from memorable. As everyone said before, this album lies somewhere between soundtrack and elevator music. It won't do you no harm, but what's the replay value? Will you ever hum a single tune from "Lunas"?

Chances are slim.

To drive "Light + Shade" comparisons home, I'll say the following album had more of an embarrassing filler, but also more heartwarming moments. In the same time I appreciate "Tr3s Lunas" for focusing on atmosphere instead of forced emotions. You should try "Misty", "No Mans Land" or tracks I mentioned before to see if you have a taste for sixty minutes of this. "Thou Art in Heaven" does a good job as well.

The day I'm writing this review is kind of fitting for "Tr3s Lunas". Chilly, overcast, frequent rainstorms - relief from July's heat. But even on a best day, "Lunas" are just a pleasing, chilled out, creativity inducing background music.

We demand more! Two stars.

Report this review (#1947993)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2018 | Review Permalink
The Crow
2 stars After the mediocre The Millennium Bell Mike Oldfield released another irrelevant album named Tres Lunas.

And this time he joined to the Chill Out mode back in the beginning of the new millennium with a rather boring and repetitive album with some glimpses of genius in songs like the precious Turtle Island, the pop hit To Be Free and maybe also No Man's Land.

The rest is a pretty forgettable collection of bland songs with some good playing by Oldfield which sometimes reminds to the excellent Songs from Distant Earth, but nothing more.

Best Tracks: No Man's Land (still Chill Out, but a good one), To Be Free (good vocal melodies) and Turtle Island (a very good tune which could have been included in the superior Guitars)

Conclusion: Tres Lunas is maybe not the worst Mike Oldfield album, but it's the most boring one. Repetitive, uninspired and bland collection of Chill Out songs only recommended for die-hard fans of our beloved British musician.

My rating: **

Report this review (#2079979)
Posted Saturday, December 1, 2018 | Review Permalink
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Mike Oldfield has never been one to avoid diverting into different styles of music in his long career, and 2002's `Tr3S Lunas' (translating from Spanish to mean "Three Moons") is no exception. Originally conceived as the soundtrack to a multi-media video game/virtual reality crossover project, this release can probably be considered a fairly minor entry in the sizeable discography of the legendary multi-instrumentalist, but is still a collection of atmospheric and relaxing pieces that holds together rather well.

New-Age, electronica, chill-out, ambient and lightly symphonic styles, not to mention the music of a range of cultures from around the world are filtered into approachable shorter compositions here, although Mike's instantly recognisable guitar playing is frequently front and center. In several moments, the results are somewhat comparable to the more exotic period of Tangerine Dream that began around the mid-Nineties, or even Jean-Michel Jarre's poppy electronic crossover approach on his modern albums.

The carefully crafted pieces here are predominantly instrumental, however occasional spoken word passages and soothing singing will pop up. Despite not being as complex as his grander works, Oldfield's mastery over numerous instruments and a range of modern production techniques is still evident, and some musical motifs and themes that pop up throughout are memorable and engaging.

Looking at some of the highlights, the laid-back synth sighs, punchy programmed beats and mellow guitar strains of opener `Misty' have that accessible Jean-Michel Jarre-like appeal. `Viper' is more strident with eastern- flavoured programmed percussion, the acoustic `Turtle Bridge' is romantic and tranquil, and there's gorgeous Mellotron-like veils that skip around the first half of `Fire Fly'. Michael's sister Sally delivers breathy spoken-word and sighing harmonies here and there throughout the disc, and there's even a lyrically positive pop tune in `To Be Free'.

`No Mans Land' and its album closing reprise is the absolute standout moment, a softly striking theme from blissful synth strains that rise and fall around a repeating electric piano motif, while shimmering guitar reaches flit in and out.

Many will look upon this album as lightweight, throwaway, even bland, but it's also melodic, tasteful, gentle, undemanding and really rather lovely. Perhaps there's not always a lot of depth, and Oldfield's approach to the various genres mentioned above are perhaps not particularly original or distinctive here, but `Tr3s Lunas' still has enough to offer more undemanding or easy-going fans.

Three stars.

Report this review (#2739797)
Posted Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Review Permalink

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