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Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.95 | 620 ratings

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3 stars "the problem of the world today is that there's not enough romance."

(Mike's response to an interviewer who remarked that Hergest Ridge has been criticized for its romanticism.)

First, I agree with Mike's sentiments. Second, forget about Tubular Bells. Mike's sophomore effort Hergest Ridge is as good as his first album. Oldfield moved to the English countryside after Tubular Bells and the music on Hergest Ridge describes the bucolic surroundings of his new home. In his own words: "Lots of open countryside, smooth hills, a general feeling of smoothness and well being and non-hysteria, just a much nicer environment..if you want to get anything out of it, you've got to really listen to it."

I love the fact he is attempting to describe his home to us through music. Places are very important to me. The home we grew up in, our neighborhoods, our haunts during our formative years, and finally the place we make our stand. I think it's an interesting and intimate topic for an artist to cover. And it's obvious Oldfield is in love with his new countryside home. The music he plays has a nostalgic and somewhat surreal feel to it, almost Monet like to me.

The first half of side two is most effective to me in feeling the surroundings that Oldfield is residing in, it then moves into the chaotic and loud "storm" segment. This goes on a tad too long for me personally and after about 5 minutes it again shifts back to calmer waters.

Mike again plays a variety of guitars and other instruments and the moods vary from the serene to the dramatic but Hergest Ridge is more personal and less rocking than some of his future work would be. It is a beautiful work of art and recommended to fans of instrumental progressive music. 3.5 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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