About 25 years after the almost legendary "Tubular Bells" comes the second sequel, possibly to try and repair a career that isn't exactly floating high at the moment. The music on the other hand, is floating high.
Tubular Bells III
For there is a great deal of pompousness in Oldfield's new album. Of course, this isn't new from this man whose albums are so full of selfimportant drooling that it's like taking a walk in the desert. One notable exception is the fantastic single "Moonlight Shadow" from the early 80's. A song he tries his best to copy on this album: "Man in the rain" is a blueprint but without the originals magical beauty.
Oldfield is floating in a sound picture wich is not so far away from what we in Norway like to call "arctic sound." Problem is, he's miles away from the quality that is connected with artists like Bel Canto, Biosphere and Those Norwegians.
The rythms and sound collages doesn't quite find the rythm, and the melodies (when you can find something sounding like melodies on this album) are frustratingly childish and simple. Check out "The Inner Child" wich is tasteless in it's artificial "ethnic" costume, something that dominates the entire album.
The really fearless might check out "Outcast" where Oldfield gets out his heavy guitars from the 80's and masturbates endlessly for the fans of music like oe Satriani and Yngvie Malmsteen.
Not exactly an important record, this.
Mike Oldfield Tubular.net