Joined: April 2002
||Posted: Jan. 24 2017, 19:57
I have to admit that Mike's music since TB2 was not at all my cup of tee. Even the so much acclaimed TSODE didnt really impress me. I always found here and there some lovely bits, but everything was so cold somehow, and never I found the real catharsis. (The finale of TBIII is an exception, but not the album itself). And I also disliked much the cover of RTO - as I explained earlier.
Saying this I was quite afraid of a new dissapointment. So it took me exactly 3 days after the purchase to put the RTO CD in my player! That is so ridiculous, I was so much worrying what I will hear! And telling the truth I didn't really like the album at the first listen, because I was always comparing it to Ommadawn and Amarok that are my favourite.
But then, through the second listen some miracle happened. Although the Part I I still didn't find so strong and memorable, the Part II started to move me to tears. I found it so beautiful and uplifting in many part that I was crying as a child. And I have to admit, such thing didn't happen with me since ages.
This album in my opinion is somewhere halfway between Guitars and Ommadawn/Amarok. There is not the grandiosity of Amarok and Ommadawn, still it is much more complex and rich in texture then Guitars. The strange thing that it is a very intimate, personal album, you see Mike playing almost all the time - yet it developes slowly through the part II into something majestic and uplifting, almost with the strength of Oldfield's best works.
I find the Ommadawn drum and chanting section at the end of part I quite forced, and there are some undeveloped ideas and random narcisstic guitar playings for me here and there in the first part. However the patchwork structure that resembles in some ways the structure of Amarok starts to get work suddenly in the second half of the album, and the finale with horseback song reference is a heart warming, beautiful and sincere crowing of the album in my opinion.
I think RTO needs at least 3 listenings to start to like it. 1: To accept it is not at all Ommadawn 2: To start to listen to it with clear mind 3. To let it really grow on you!
But I must also admit I am yet only after the 4th listens. So who knows what will be the further stages? I sincerely hope I will have the same opinion after the 20th listen... and this record will not land in the dusty shelf where the recent ones landed!
Anyway, now I really feel: