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Mike Oldfield - Platinum CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.18 | 353 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Yes, 2 (or 2,5) stars is unfair rating for a 70's Oldfield album. Platinum is in terms of composition an interesting and fresh phase in his career. In the same year the live double Exposed had tied up the previous works up to Incantations and here begins the formula of albums with a side-long track and shorter - more or less sung - pieces. Principally this could be closely 4 stars but I spot too many weaknesses.

'Platinum' is a wonderful composition that grabs you at once. It offers that famous Oldfield electric guitar style, it creates a colourful band sound - perhaps the most important guest musician being Pierre Moerlen on drums and vibes - and it flirts bravely with several musical styles from charleston to contemporary music of Philip Glass ('North Star'). But when you've got used to the superb (but shorter) live version on The Complete Mike Oldfield, this original sounds quite flat. Especially 'Charleston' with its sharp horns and discoish moments after that, and the finale gets pretentious with the fake choir. A pity really.

Side two begins with a magical, ambient 'Woodhenge'. (If Robert Holdstock's novel Mythago Wood was filmed, this music would fit there.) I think it's the best produced part of the album even if it bores most listeners. 'Into Wonderland' is nearly awful sweet song. It is naive but not in a charming way. Also the sound quality is strangely blurred, the lady singer's S's jump out horribly. I always wonder at first is it my speakers' fault. Maybe it doesn't happen in CD editions, but never mind: worthless song anyway. I don't say much of 'Punkadiddle': more like a musical joke than fine music to listen. It mostly annoys me. The album's final number is a lush interpretation of Gerhwin's 'I Got Rhythm'. Perhaps surprising from Oldfield but not bad at all. The singer again could be better: Maggie Reilly was yet to be found.

I rarely go into details this closely, but I hope you see now why such a low rate to such an adventurous and intriguing album.

Matti | 2/5 |


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