Joined: Aug. 2012
||Posted: Mar. 04 2014, 06:53
I have now listened to both the VOCAL ALBUM (CD 1) and INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM (CD 2 of DELUXE EDITION) of Man On The Rocks and here's my two cents...
Whilst it is clear that (as far as I can tell) the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is simply the VOCAL ALBUM with the vocal removed, in my opinion, not only does the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM most certainly work as a whole in its own right, but IMO it is much, much better than the VOCAL ALBUM.
IMO despite the vocals having been removed the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS do NOT in fact sound at all like 'KARAOKE' music tracks.
Instead, Mike's wonderful multilayered progressive instrumental musical compositions are allowed to flourish unimpeded by the vocals.
MOONSHINE in particular stands out as being significantly better without the vocals. In fact, ALL the tracks sound significantly better without the vocals!
For those who are interested here is my review of Man On The Rocks that I have posted on AMAZON:
Buy The DELUXE EDITION for the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS!
INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM: 5 STARS!
VOCAL ALBUM: 3 STARS
If like me you are a die-hard fan of Mike Oldfield you will probably favour his instrumental compositions more than his vocal tracks, which to date (thankfully) have typically been limited to few and far between.
Without a doubt Oldfield’s primary talent lies within his unrivalled ability to compose absolutely amazing complex, multi-layered, progressive instrumental compositions; wherein, he is akin to a modern day Mozart.
Mike’s sporadic attempts at vocal songs over the years have misfired more often than not. The reason being that in most cases (with the odd rare exception) the vocal quite simply does not work very well and in fact is distracting to the extent that it significantly lessens the wonderful immersiveness of Oldfield’s music.
So I was very dubious indeed when it was announced that this album would comprise purely vocal songs… Could it be that in this instance the vocals might work and not prove to be such a distraction? Unfortunately, in my opinion, the answer is NO. As previously, I find that the vocals significantly lessen the wonderful immersiveness of Oldfield’s music. So, as far as the VOCAL ALBUM goes it is a disappointed 3 OUT OF 5 STARS from me.
That said, THANK YOU CAROLINE MONK (and of course Mike) for ingeniously deciding to release a DELUXE VERSION with a SECOND CD comprising ALL OF THE SONGS AS PURELY INSTRUMENTAL TRACKS!
The INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is absolutely AMAZING!!!
I repeat… The INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is absolutely AMAZING!!!
Personally I am of the view that without exception all of the tracks on this album sound much, much better without the vocals. In fact, I rate the Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album to be 5 OUT OF 5 STARS (with the VOCAL album scoring 3 STARS).
In my opinion, the Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album is as good as The Songs Of Distant Earth, which many (including me) have considered to be Mike’s best work of the past 20 years. No kidding! The Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album really is THAT GOOD! There is not a single bad track on the album (how many other music artists can you say that about?); and as with The Songs Of Distant Earth the best way to listen to it is to sit down, relax and simply play the whole album from start to finish.
Without a doubt, Oldfield is back on top form. The Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album is Oldfield at his best.
So, if like me your preference is ‘Classic Oldfield’ you should most definitely buy the DELUXE EDITION and listen to the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM on CD NUMBER 2.
Hell, even if your preference isn’t ‘Classic Oldfield’ you should STILL definitely buy the DELUXE EDITION and listen to the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM on CD NUMBER 2.
That is where the real treasure lies!
In my opinion, without a doubt the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is far, far superior to the VOCAL ALBUM. The absence of vocals allows Mike’s music to fully shine in all its majesty. It is absolutely AMAZING.
I am very much hoping that with what will indubitably be an extremely positive response to Man On The Rocks that Mike will decide to compose more new albums; wherein, I would ask (pretty pretty please with a cherry on top) that purely INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS of all the new tracks be included again (if they are not instrumental already) even if included as a SECOND CD as part of a DELUXE EDITION as it was here.
Well done Mike! Absolutely fantastic work!