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Topic: My God it sucked!!!, Or is it just me?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
HR lover Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 06:44

I recently bought Heaven's Open, and while I was listening I thought to myself, is this really Mike? For me the whole album sounds like a fucked-up Hall&Oates album. Except for Music From The Balcony that I can't describe at all. It was just so weird. Of course I could still hear MO in the album, but only in some parts of MFTB. And that was just in the surface. I felt very sad after listening to the album, because I know that he can do the most awesome things ever. For me most MO albums are timeless. But this sounds to me so 80s and 90s.
I would like to hear your opinion as well and correct me if I'm wrong. (sorry for some harsh words, I will always love Mike's music, or at least most of it, so please don't be offended)


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Herod Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 06:52

"Heaven's Open" was the soundtrack to one of the best summers of my life. It sounded weird to me in many places, starting from Mike's voice itself ( I was sure that the initial 'oooh, mmmuohoh, make-make' of the first song was Sting!!!;)

Nevertheless I've always been happy with it, a further demonstration of the completeness of MO... I'm still unsure of the sound quality... I think the mixing gave the whole album a sound a bit too rough and harsh... the solos are not that wonderful (knowing the standard...), but it contains three wonderful song ('No Dream', 'Gimme Back' and the title track) and a very atmospheric suite...

18 years on...I still like it!


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larstangmark Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 08:26

I don't mind the odd fucked-up hall and oates album! It's the regular ones I can't stand (like the one that has Family Man on it!).
I would say it's not one of his best albums but the last one I liked. It has more going for it than both Islands and Earth Moving I think. He doesn't do the guest-AOR singer thing (thank you god!) and noone can say that the instrumental side is an average Mike Oldfield instrumental (as I think both the Lake and Wind Chimes were).
The title-track though, is truly terrible. Eurovision-esque in the worst sense of the word.


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"There are twelve people in the world, the rest are paste"
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Tubularman Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 09:45

Quote (Herod @ Oct. 01 2010, 12:52)
I think the mixing gave the whole album a sound a bit too rough and harsh...

always been a problem for me too, same with the song from Islands, Magic Touch... to screaming..
but i love No dream :D amazing guitar! and some part of music from the balcony, i actually made a easier mix version of this..


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Milamber Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 09:45

Remembering back this was a let down after the almighty Amarok.
It was still stronger than Earth moving although not as well produced imo.
And Simon was back in the fold his 37/9 signature and epic rolls in MFTB lifted an otherwise lackluster patchwork track that was born in the same nightmare Music for the Video Wall was aborted from.
Give me the beauty of The Lake any day ,but I agree The Wind Chimes esp Part Two
was never great sure it has it moments (like the one i'm having now) but as a whole it bores the shit outta me.
Nit picking mode off  :D
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 10:21

It's different, it's unusual, it's unexpected, it's catchy, it's twisted and it's utterly subversive. I fucking love it. It's brilliant. and it's better than the next 10 or so albums he put out afterwards packed together and condensed. And I like the title track -- maybe because I'm absolutely unfamiliar with Eurovision and therefore have no bias against it? I dunno, I think it's neat.

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HR lover Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 13:03

Quote (larstangmark @ Oct. 01 2010, 08:26)
I don't mind the odd fucked-up hall and oates album! It's the regular ones I can't stand (like the one that has Family Man on it!;).
I would say it's not one of his best albums but the last one I liked. It has more going for it than both Islands and Earth Moving I think. He doesn't do the guest-AOR singer thing (thank you god!;) and noone can say that the instrumental side is an average Mike Oldfield instrumental (as I think both the Lake and Wind Chimes were).
The title-track though, is truly terrible. Eurovision-esque in the worst sense of the word.

For  me it's the complete opposite. I really like family man. It's when MO is being regular or conservative he can show his true skills. A bit off the point maybe but some people think HR is boring, for me it's the most exciting and emotional piece ever created. My philosophy is that in modesty one is pure and reveals his/her heart, that's why when people say that MO is so versatile and Heaven's Open completes him, it doesn't say much to me. Not every genre of music is worth to make. I think we all know just how good MO is. I really really hope MO never makes hip-hop or that gaga shit because, that's just below his level.

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Olivier Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 15:54

In Amarok, he seems relaxed and free. In Heaven's Open, I feel too many constraints: trying to be commercially successful, trying to rebrand himself, trying to sing, trying to do something like Amarok.
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2010, 16:16

Quote (HR lover @ Oct. 01 2010, 13:03)
My philosophy is that in modesty one is pure and reveals his/her heart

I don't think lack of ambition, laziness, dullness and stagnation should be confused with "modesty", honestly. To be truly frank, if Mike thinks there's any genre of music that is "below is level", it would be a massive display of arrogance of his part, which is... pretty much the opposite of modesty?

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HR lover Offline




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Posted: Oct. 03 2010, 11:52

Everybody has his own taste in music. I bet Mike Oldfield doesn't like every genre equally. That however doesn't mean he's arrogant. The need for Mike Oldfield to display his skills in a lot of genres would strike me more as arrogant than him sticking to his usual kind of music (though he is very diverse as a musician). I really don't think MO is an arrogant person, but for me Heaven's Open lacks profoundness and doesn't feel magical to me (which most works of MO do for me). I think this is due to the genre of music ( the fucked up Hall&Oates kinda thing). I just don't like poppy catchy songs, that are blaring at you all the time. I prefer the more serious works   :)

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larstangmark Offline




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Posted: Oct. 03 2010, 17:04

I admit that I find Heaven's Open to be quite commercial in nature (at least the first side), but there's no way you can say that the music he has been doing since is more serious than Heaven's Open (apart from perhaps Music of the Spheres). Every album he has released since HO has been recorded obviously with certain market segments in mind. However much you love TSoDE or Tres Lunas you have to admit that they're essentially instrumental pop albums firmly rooted in current pop culture, which is none more "serious" than Heaven's Open.

In the 70s Mike was breaking new ground, setting the rules for pop and rock music and in that way I would describe the early albums as "serious", part of the musical avant garde at the time. After that Mike took a back seat, applying his own musical style to other popular styles of music. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't know about "serious"?


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Delfín Offline




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Posted: Oct. 03 2010, 20:57

Quote (Olivier @ Oct. 01 2010, 21:54)
In Amarok, he seems relaxed and free. In Heaven's Open, I feel too many constraints: trying to be commercially successful, trying to rebrand himself, trying to sing, trying to do something like Amarok.

Completely right, Olivier.

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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 04 2010, 00:53

Quote (Delfín @ Oct. 03 2010, 20:57)
Quote (Olivier @ Oct. 01 2010, 21:54)
In Amarok, he seems relaxed and free. In Heaven's Open, I feel too many constraints: trying to be commercially successful, trying to rebrand himself, trying to sing, trying to do something like Amarok.

Completely right, Olivier.

Bah! Humbug!
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HR lover Offline




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Posted: Oct. 13 2010, 03:42

I actually changed my mind about Heaven's Open.
I think it's technically very well done. In no dream for instance you really get a wall of sound in the end. In every song there is a good part. And when I hear the sound of a guitar it's really awesome. MFTB seems enigmatic and has some incredible parts in it. Like the part after the beginning which sounds like water flowing or smth like that. I also love the part that sounds like a sort of muffled victorious theme. And Heaven's Open really sounds like a eurovision song but then again it would win though :)  Heaven's Open will never be my favourite MO album but I can definitely hear a lot of brilliance in it.


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 13 2010, 07:20

Quote (HR lover @ Oct. 13 2010, 03:42)
I also love the part that sounds like a sort of muffled victorious theme.

HRFan, are you talking about that piano sequence of ten notes that gets played, with variations, at different parts of the piece? If you are, I love that bit too. By the way, I think your summary of the album is spot-on.
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HR lover Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 10:15

Hmmmm. I listened MFTB again but I think it starts at 13.30 min and to me it sounded more like 6 or 7 notes thus I don't think that is it. I'm not sure however.

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Delfín Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 09:57

Quote (HR lover @ Oct. 18 2010, 16:15)
Hmmmm. I listened MFTB again but I think it starts at 13.30 min and to me it sounded more like 6 or 7 notes thus I don't think that is it. I'm not sure however.

Yeah, that part is repeated at the end. What sounds really triumphant and is my favourite part in 'Music from the Balcony' (and I would compare it to the "hmm...' part in Amarok) is the one at    1 1 : 3 6   ! ! !!! !!! !


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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 13:29

It sucked, your right. "No Dream" has been very good for me tho. I love that song. Mike just....sounds like he salivates too much! Oh well, No Dream would be a great cover song. Too bad Hall and Oats missed that in 1990-91. Has anyone of note covered that number? I'd like to know.

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InsideOfYou Offline




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Posted: Oct. 26 2010, 18:18

No it didn't :D
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Elf Offline




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Posted: Nov. 17 2010, 04:06

I still remember when Heaven's Open came out. It was about two years after I had been re-introduced for Mike's music.

I actually had to find out about it trough a review in a newspaper (these were the days when Norwegian newspapers still bothered to review his albums). I remember being surprised that it came out in such a short time after Amarok, and I went straight down to my local record shop to buy it after reading the review.

At the time I was kind of disappointed. Anything done after Amarok would have been a disappointment really, but I felt the album sounded rushed. I did love Music from the Balcony, though. Always have.

I didn't listen to the album much in the years after it's release. One of the reasons were that I didn't bring my record player (yes, I bought on vinyl) when I did my military service, nor during my years in college.

One day in 2000 I came across it in a cheap CD bin, and I bought it on a whim, looking forward to hearing Balcony again. When I put the earphones on and started the album, I was amazed at what I heard.

I heard the most sophisticated and well written pop songs Mike has done. Seriously. This is not fluff pop, it has substance. It's completely the opposite of what Mike has been doing post 1994 and I'll take Heaven's Open any day over Millionth Bell, TB2003, Light & Shit and Tired Lunas.

And the production is top notch and crystal clear (get it?). I think Heaven's Open is a solid piece of work, even if it is a bit lacking in places. Not my favourite, but head and shoulders above most of the stuff he's done since.
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