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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.30 | 1328 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Hey, and away we go! Beautiful, epic, original, rock-your-stirrups-off brilliant--this is progressive music at its finest!

As I said in my inaugural Prog Archives review of another of his albums, Amarok, Mike Oldfield is what I consider the next great thing in prog for dedicated proggers, who have likely spent months and years experiencing the genius of the well-known prog giants (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, GG, etc.) and are looking for something new and unique, but equally incredible.

Ommadawn was the first Oldfield album I heard, after seeing it justifiably placed on the Prog Archives Top 100. The only Oldfield album that I have heard thus far that may arguably match it is Amarok, but I still probably prefer Ommadawn based on the sheer beauty of it. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard in ANY genre, stretching from Rachmaninoff's haunting symphonies to John Coltrane's tender ballads.

Theme after gorgeous theme is played by a vast array of instruments, with Oldfield's guitars driving the rock aspects of the album for the most part. Oldfield has the rare ability to keep you interested in the same musical idea for several minutes on end through some inimitable combination of brilliant layering, instrumentation, and superb musicianship. There are a lot of world music influences at play here, including a fabulous bagpipe solo midway through Part 2. And how many times can you say you've heard bagpipes in prog?

I disagree with Prog Archives' lumping Oldfield into the category of Crossover Prog, which includes a lot of lousy artists who don't really fit the prog bill--personally, I dislike the term Crossover Prog in general. Mr. Oldfield cannot be described as anything but simply--and utterly--progressive.

If you have a heartbeat, a functional nervous system, and a Hamilton in your wallet (yes, I'm American), you should do, must do, and, if the prog gods shine down upon you, will do whatever it takes to procure this album; I recommend buying it new on Amazon for $5.99, which you can do with a couple of extra mouse clicks.

In my view, no intelligent prog conversation should be conducted without mention of the man called Michael Gordon Oldfield. Yes, he's just one dude and his music lacks vocals for the most part--but when it comes to the spirit of prog, few can match Oldfield's work, and no better example of his than Ommadawn (save maybe Amarok, of course). Enjoy!

fragilelambtongues | 5/5 |


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