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Sally Oldfield - Easy CD (album) cover


Sally Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.48 | 12 ratings

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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.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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