Angelique 2. Blackbird 3. The Gate 4. First Steps 5. Closer 6. Our Father 7. Rocky 8. Sunset 9. Quicksilver Resolution Slipstream Surfing Tears of An Angel Romance Ringscape Nightshade Angelique bonus DVD Blackbird The Gate First Steps The more he tries to follow the latest trends, the Album) sure that fact is.
This one like mostly all of his later works won't stay alive for very many years; before long the listener has gotten totally Album) of this computer-made music.
It almost seems accidental, as though he got the BPM wrong on a few songs. Head in that direction if you want electronic music to enfold you in warmth and lift you into a heightened state of consciousness. Oh yes, on some tracks he plays guitar.
It almost makes it worse, reminding me of what he's capable of. Glimpses of genius, but no more than that, and a grudging two stars. I was rather disappointed with his prior non-Tubular album the incredibly poor "Tr3s Lunas". Same sort of ambient supermarket? Not annoying for a penny or a? I can't deny this : "Ringscape" for instance is my fave here.
But it is almost the last number of the second CD. Before this one, you will have to experience some painful numbers; not as boring as during "Lunas" but still hard to believe. Fully new age, impersonal, uninspired and tasteless.
The opening number "Angelique" and its computerized "vocal" sets the scene. The beat is awful, although the guitar work is great. What a combination : the good can't really call this the best and the worse. But I'm afraid that the worse prevails. Shame on you!!! But be sure that no highlight is to be expected. Just a bunch of average tracks. I would say, just slightly better than "Lunas" but no more. Two stars. This is really as far as I can get for this work. Avoid it, is the best advice.
This album will certainly please Mike's most devoted followers to some degree at least, but for the rest of us it feels like we heard it all before. I certainly prefer to play the very much better The Songs Of Distant Earth or Tubular Bells III which are both much stronger albums with quite similar musical content similar in style but not in quality! Sunset which closes the first disc is similar in style to the Guitars album and features some nice guitar playing.
Indeed, throughout the whole album we find some nice guitar work here and there, some nice piano too and an occasional melody to catch onto, but overall this double CD is a quite tedious listen.
It clearly would have benefited from being shortened to fit on a single disc and there are certainly some passages that could have been cut without losing anything of importance. New-Age and Dance music is not really my cup of tea and there is hardly anything at all to qualify this as progressive Rock or any kind of Rock at all for that matter.
This is by no means a poor product in the sense that it is poorly made, but clearly it is for fans and collectors only and even for them it is likely to be a purchase to complete the collection and not one for repeated listens. It is thus strongly recommended to go for Oldfield's earlier albums such as the recent ones I mentioned above, particularly The Songs Of Distant Earth, as well as his classic albums from the 70's and early 80's before venturing this deep into his vast Album).
This probably isn't as groundbreaking or overtly progressive as Oldfield's early works, but let's give the man a rest and enjoy his continued relevance in executing electronica freshly and curtly.
Apart from the jaded new age ennui of "Blackbird", "Rocky" and "Sunset", all a bit too "light" for their own good, this is uniformly enjoyable relaxation music with enough edge to satisfy a more demanding commute, road trip, or workout. I know, I've tried it out in all scenarios, Mike Oldfield - Light + Shade (CDr. I'll go against conventional prog wisdom by adding that "Shade" is the better half, although "First Steps" and "Our Father" from the light side are both favourites. The tempos are notched up, the melodies more forceful, and the synthesized vocals more authentic if you will.
The best of these are the ones that blend all these elements with Oldfield's still searing guitar figures. The man knows how to incorporate his axe work into any style, and does so without overpowering or appearing to be parachuting it in to save old fans.
While likely to displease many a fan of the man's prog phases, "Light and Shade" succeeds in delivering on its promises and, more importantly, on pledges it never made. It's no easy task, we have some 82 minutes worth of music here, separated in two CDs; allegedly the key idea was to make two contrasting sets, one mellow and bright, the other darker in mood and di Retrieved 17 April BBC iPlayer. Retrieved 13 October Discography Singles Concert Tours.
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