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Mike Oldfield - Islands CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

2.62 | 207 ratings

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2 stars Even more so than "Crises", "Islands" shows the degree to which quirky pop songs invaded Oldfield's psyche in the 1980s, at the expense of his trademark instrumental excursions. However here both elements are like marked down merchandise.

"The Wind Chimes" is but a banal rehash of a reworking of a rendition of his classic material, as it were. Very few interesting themes are explored and what we are left with is more like the interminable last 7 minutes of "Crises", persisting for 21 minutes.

The 5 vocal tracks are all interesting and appealing to one degree or another. Max Bacon's "Magic Touch" is straight out of the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT playbook. Anita Hegerland, Oldfield's significant other at the time, turns in two more fine vocal performances with "North Point" and "The Time Has Come", the latter reminding me of MANDALABAND's self titled work in the mid 70s. Kevin Ayers contributes admirably to the whimsical "Flying Start", one of Oldfield's trademark child like numbers with a catchy melody and contrasts in the verses and chorus. Unfortunately, while the verses of the title cut spell classic rock hit, the chorus effectively squelches the momentum, with only Bonnie Tyler's rasping tones to save it.

Averaging out the inferior "epic" and the respectable pop tunes, I am left with an island in the Oldfield discography, at least up to that point: a 2 star effort.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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