Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: New Age, Pop, Rock
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Not Oldfield's best, but has its moments.
James Kasprzak | Darkest New Jersey | 10/01/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I knew that something was wrong with this album when I listened to the first track, "Holy", and the words of a line in the chorus didn't seem to match what was on the lyric sheet. Then I listened more closely and realized that the singer had warped the pronunciation and scansion of the words to fit the music: "Miracles, like you've ne-VER seen BE-fore!" Give me a break! From a first-time artist whose native language wasn't English, I could have accepted this. But this is Mike Oldfield we're talking about! And if the music is so much more important than the lyrics, then for goodness' sake he could just stick to instrumentals. We know he's good at those.If you want a good idea of what this album could have been, I suggest listening to Tony Banks' solo album "Still", released at just the same time in the US. Multiple styles with male and female vocalists, an innovative blend of pop with progressive rock -- there's so much that Oldfield could have done, but he just fails to live up to his own standards on this album.That said, there are a few gems on this album that make it worth dragging out from time to time, particularly with the programmable CD player. "Innocent" is a well-crafted pop tune that could have been a hit on US radio, if US radio stations had any taste. "Hostage" and "Bridge to Paradise" are two excellent rockers featuring Max Bacon, whose vocal work with GTR is still fondly remembered. But why was "Bridge" grafted onto "Nothing But", a boring musical nonentity in pseudo-gospel style?(Is it just me, or does Oldfield's quirky sense of humor show through on "Bridge to Paradise" -- I could swear that the background voices are singing "Building the Brooklyn Bridge...")I know that Oldfield can write a good pop-like tune without compromising his fine music. Take "Moonlight Shadow", "Magic Touch","Islands", or almost all of the "Discovery" album. But on most of this album, he just doesn't make it all the way there."
Has its moments...
James Jones | Clive, IA United States | 12/07/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As others will tell you, this is far from Mike Oldfield's best album. Scansion and lyrics are occasionally tortured (see "Holy" for the former, as another reviewer has mentioned, the choruses of "Far Country" and "Innocent" for the latter), but there are bright points. Adrian Belew makes "Holy" work, and the bridge of "Far Country" is a delightful glimpse of what could have been as Oldfield and Belew trade guitar licks--not in the "Look at me, I'm a virtuoso and can play really, really fast" style of McLaughlin and de Lucia, but always tasteful and suited to the tranquil nature of the song. The religious allusions come thick and fast on this album, but my favorite track has to be "Blue Night," IMHO featuring Oldfield's best lyric writing since "Crime of Passion," fine guitar work, and Maggie O'Reilly's always excellent vocals. Call it Oldfield's worst, but it's still worthwhile."