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Mike Oldfield - Islands CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

2.62 | 207 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars I just don’t get this album. I don’t really get Mike Oldfield to be honest, but I was suitably impressed by the complexity and beauty of ‘Tubular Bells’ as much as anyone else back in the day. Really though, the guy didn’t have to make a career of that one album though – how many versions of that thing exist anyway? I don’t think Waters made as many different variations of ‘The Wall’ as Oldfield did of Bells.

Anyway, that’s not the point. But this is – in my very humble opinion Mike Oldfield stopped making interesting music around 1976. There, I said it.

Only my opinion I know, but since I made the mistake of buying this album I’m entitled to an opinion. The “Wind Chimes” tracks are typical Oldfield stuff, so props for that. But once the first side of the record is over, things get weird. And not in a good way.

Whoever came up with the idea to cast Anita Hegerland on an Oldfield album really missed the boat. “Magic Touch” is pure pop tripe, and even Oldfield’s ambitious guitar work can’t save this adult contemporary disaster. She’s crooning on the title track too, but this one sounds more like an Abba ballad. Oh wait, she’s his wife, right? Good God, this is an even worse idea than putting you girlfriend on your album. That hasn’t worked out since Donnie and Marie Osmond.

Oops, they weren’t married.

Or were they?

“Flying Start” isn’t much better except that Bonnie Tyler has a little more tolerable voice.

Anyway, I’m not going to spend much more time on this one. Not a good album, and from a guy who was shockingly inconsistent after establishing himself on his first few albums. Profoundly disappointing, and really only of interest to collectors, and possibly to old geezers with comb-overs who still listen to Enya and other New Age stuff. Not recommended. Two stars.


ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |


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