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Mike Oldfield - Heaven's Open CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

2.48 | 175 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
2 stars A lot of people say that this is the worst Mike Oldfieldīs album...But I disagree. I think that this album surpases, for example, the pop adventure of "Earth Moving", or the failed experiment of "Orchestral Tubular Bells". I donīt know yet the Oldfieldīs discography beyond "Tubular Bells II", so I canīt give a comparation of "Heavenīs Open" with later albums...

The best thing I find in this album are the lyrics and the Mike Oldfieldīs singing! Mr.Oldfield talked here about his very bad relations with Virgin and Richard Branson (Virginīs owner...) I think that these lyrics are very sincere and here the autor opened his heart to offer us a lot of his feelings...In other Oldfieldīs albums, the lyrics were a little "impersonal" (with some exception, like the song Holy on "Earth Moving"...), so I really like the acid way of describing his relation with Virgin, because it showed the strong personality of Mike Oldfield.

When you hear this album, one of the first things you notice itīs that the sound and the songsīs arragements are a little poor, too simple if you compare it with previous Oldfieldīs albums...I think this is because this album was made in a hurry, only six months. Oldfield was desiring to finish his relations with Virgin, so after the masterpice "Amarok" he made this album very fast, for after that giving more time to the making of "Tubular Bells II" for Warner...For example, the instrumental Music From the Balcony has some lack of good ideas, itīs too repetitive, like it would make too fast...Itīs the only Oldfieldīs long instrumental I find a little dull and unispired sometimes...

Nevertheless, I think that the vocal songs are good! Maybe this songs are too simple in arragements, with too much keyboards, loops and programmed drums...But the passionate Oldfieldīs singing made these songs very special, and brilliant sometimes (No Dream and Heavenīs Open are two great songs!) Mr.Oldfield singed his own lyrics with very much sensitivity and sincerity that all the singers that has worked with him previously. Maybe he has not a very technical and polited voice. Sometimes, itīs even difficult to understand some words...But the amount of feelings he wasted singing this dark lyrics solved that! Just heard the soft and beauty beginning of No Dream...He put his heart in his throath!

Best songs: No Dream (fantastic singing, lyrics and ending guitar solos...), Heavenīs Open (one of the best Oldfieldīs vocal songs without a doubt!) and some parts of Music From The Balcony (like the soft and beautiful beginning, and the great ending passage with the double pedal of Simon Philips blasting savagely and the fantastic crying guitars of Mike...) But Make Make, Mr. Shame and Gimme Back are not bad at all too!

Conclusion: definitively, not a bad album in my opinion, just underworked...

My rating: **1/2

The Crow | 2/5 |


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