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Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.29 | 1531 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Omma-Dawn is a feeling

For his third album, Mike Oldfield chooses a middle path between the na´ve excitement and anger of "Tubular Bells", and the more continuous, generally softer "Hergest Ridge". The result is a very satisfying, highly melodic work with many highlights, and a continuity which demands that it be heard as a complete piece.

Oldfield's guitar work is particularly impressive here, and generally receives top billing among the many instruments on which he is accomplished. For the first time (other than the "On horseback" ditty which closes "Hergest Ridge" and the "Piltdown man" growls), he adds vocals to the album. These are however vocalised in the form of an additional "instrument", rather than as a lyrical intrusion. Indeed the lyrics are deliberately nonsensical, being a mixture of English an Irish Gaelic words.

Oldfield uses repetition to a much greater extent, particularly of a handful of strong themes, which may be the reason so many people find this album immediately appealing. The main theme of part (side) one for example is introduced almost immediately, and developed through drifting keyboards, incisive guitars, and the vocalised ending to the side.

The strength of the album however lies in the melodies which are pleasant but infectious. This was perhaps Oldfield's first real drift towards new age, but it's still light years from the musak which that genre often implies. That said, there appears to be more emotion in the performance here than on any other Oldfield album. If you are familiar with Oldfield's masterwork "The songs of distant earth", but have yet to discover "Ommadawn", you are in for a pleasant experience.

"Ommadawn" was far from a solo album by Oldfield. While the composition credit is of course entirely his, he called upon the talents of many fine musicians to enhance the sound. Notable among these are Paddy Moloney on Uillean pipes and Bridget St John and Oldfield's sister Sally on vocals.

A superb album, among the best of Oldfield's illustrious career.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |


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