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Mike Oldfield - Amarok CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.03 | 663 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A formula for success?

I found "Amarok" to be something of a disappointment. The usual ingredients are here, with each side (I have the cassette version) consisting of a single track, which moves through various moods and sounds.

Unfortunately, the composition as a whole is weak and disjointed. Oldfield sounds as if he has run out of ideas, and is merely composing by the numbers. The actual performance is, as you would expect highly competent, with the guitar work in particular being notable. The inclusion of female choral style voices also offers a pleasant diversion. There are however, too many jarring changes of tempo and sound, and too much noodling with superfluous effects.

Had this been one of Oldfield's first albums, I would probably have enjoyed it more, and rated it more highly. For me though, by the time of this album, Oldfield reckoned he had found a formula for making albums, and stuck to it a bit too rigidly. This was to some extent later evidenced by Oldfield's own attitude to his work in various interviews, where he indicated he had become bored with his own musical style.

While "Amarok" has many of the qualities you would expect from a Mike Oldfield album, the key one which appears to be missing is inspiration. When compared to albums such as "Tubular bells", "Ommadawn" and "The songs of distant earth", "Amarok" does not stand up well with its illustrious peers.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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