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Topic: Expectation vs Reality< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Jesse Offline




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Posted: Feb. 22 2017, 05:07

Quote (Priabonia @ Feb. 19 2017, 08:01)
Nope, nothing to add...off to listen to some Rob Reed instead

Rob Reed.....  :/

Are you serious?
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Jesse Offline




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Posted: Feb. 22 2017, 05:11

Quote (hellegennes @ Feb. 21 2017, 07:33)
Mike once said that he considered Amarok early on as a successor to Ommadawn but it's nothing like it. I can't see how anyone can view Amarok as being remotely connected to Ommadawn.

Also, criticism that starts with "Didn't like the cover" can't be a serious review of anything (be it books, movies, music). I feel that it suits the music perfectly, but don't care at the same time.

I think that a lot of this is due to nostalgia goggles. I don't see him making any musically valid point. RTO is quite similar in form to Ommadawn and it holds very well as a unit. The themes build up and are reused in variations throughout the album the same way as in Ommadawn. The two parts of RTO seem much more of a unit than the two parts of Ommadawn.

The only valid criticism is that it's true that it's under-produced, but that's what Mike wanted himself. He wanted a more deconstructed form, much more free, nonchalant, rough.

And enough with the complaints about the nylon guitars and the screeching sounds. Has no one ever listened to Amarok?

indeed Amarok is not connected to Ommadawn at all. It doesn't sound remotely alike.

I think some fans just want stuff to be complex, difficult to play, hard to understand, something new yet something old, preferably depressing teenage angst driven, unrelatable music.

So you go: "hmmm that's interesting!" rather than": "ohhh you feel THAT?!". Like, listening with the brain rather than heart.

But it could be me :D

on a side note: if he did something crazy as Amarok again, i'd be happy too haha
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hellegennes Offline




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Posted: Feb. 22 2017, 05:26

I like Amarok in all its craziness, but it's not really a piece of music. It's just sound bits thrown together, some of which are really annoying. Fans like it because it's different, like fans of Lars Von Trier like his films because they are shocking and "antisystemic".

That's logical, because that's what Mike wanted Amarok to be. But he didn't do it from a sense of experimentation, he didn't do it because he wanted to create something new, fresh, different. He did it to piss off Richard Branson. It's clear he didn't mean this album to be coherent. He must have changed his mind later in the production though, because the structure is more robust, technical and normal near the end of Amarok.
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Erick Offline




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Posted: Feb. 24 2017, 09:19

:)
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originalbob Offline




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Posted: May 27 2017, 04:03

Ok- since my original post I've listened to this again a couple of times, and, to be honest, I'm still trying very hard to like it.
The more I listen to it, the more it strikes me as lacking the creativity and originality of the early albums, and the more it sounds like one of those CDs you used to be able to buy in those shops which sold crystals, aromatherapy stuff, and other New Age gear. Think Mr Oldfield has lost his edge somewhat...
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Snow Offline




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Posted: May 28 2017, 11:14

Quote (originalbob @ May 27 2017, 04:03)
Ok- since my original post I've listened to this again a couple of times, and, to be honest, I'm still trying very hard to like it.
The more I listen to it, the more it strikes me as lacking the creativity and originality of the early albums, and the more it sounds like one of those CDs you used to be able to buy in those shops which sold crystals, aromatherapy stuff, and other New Age gear. Think Mr Oldfield has lost his edge somewhat...

I think he could be accused of losing his "edge" with Islands, Earth Moving, Tr3s Lunas and Light + Shade…but RTO has far more emotion.

I think it is a beautifully constructed album that is just below Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn, Incantations and Amorak.
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hellegennes Offline




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Posted: May 29 2017, 22:11

Also, he is 64. How much edge do you think he could still have?
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Basilrathbon Offline




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Posted: June 05 2017, 05:54

Quote (originalbob @ May 27 2017, 04:03)
Ok- since my original post I've listened to this again a couple of times, and, to be honest, I'm still trying very hard to like it.
The more I listen to it, the more it strikes me as lacking the creativity and originality of the early albums, and the more it sounds like one of those CDs you used to be able to buy in those shops which sold crystals, aromatherapy stuff, and other New Age gear. Think Mr Oldfield has lost his edge somewhat...

I couldn't disagree more; for me Return To Ommadawn is up there with Mike's best.

I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed the first time I heard it, but given time and listening in a variety of different situations, RTO has revealed itself to be a superb and wonderfully evocative piece of music that only Mike could create.

One thing I would say, is that Mike's music seems to work best when listened to on a train journey through the English countryside on a bright sunny day. I know it sounds a bit daft, but listening at home or on a dull winter's day, it doesn't seem half as good. In retrospect perhaps RTO should have been released in the summer with a suitably summery cover like Hergest Ridge?
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Man In Rain Offline




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Posted: July 24 2017, 07:28

I really like this album.

Best thing he released in decades. :)
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First_Excursion Offline




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Posted: Aug. 04 2017, 05:54

I have listened to it twice now, that was all I could bear.

I had a dream that there was a new MO album I really liked... that's why I listened to it the second time.
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Liquid Friend Offline




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Posted: Sep. 15 2017, 11:25

Expectations were very high for me. I was a bonafide Oldfield missionary throughout my adolescent years, turning many of my friends on to his music, but I gave that up with his proper new age phase (circa Voyager). News about RTO however engaged me enormously.

I bought an LP-player; I pre-ordered the vinyl; I listened to the back-catalogue for the first time in many years; I did not download leaked versions before I got my own copy; I scored some weed to go with the first listening. I was ready to be amazed.

For a while now I've been telling myself RTO is good enough. But the reality is, I am disappointed. The way I would put it, is that it doesn't sound inspired, at all. Hell, I like commercial bids like Earth Moving a lot -- Oldfield could do no wrong for the longest time, his writing and playing was consistently good enough, but I think I'm going to have to come to grips with the fact that my main musical idol slapped something together and duped people like me in to thinking he was back on track.

This was cathartic.

ps. Two years later: the album's a slowburner for me, but I think I'm coming around on the positive side. I hope Mike reads this.


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First_Excursion Offline




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Posted: Sep. 22 2017, 21:24

Thankfully in the age of the internet we can go back and find all the great music by other artists that we didn't previously notice because we were too busy listening to Mike Oldfield all the time.

:p
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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: Sep. 23 2017, 04:36

I am sorry, but I find this negativity such a waste of time. I love the album. As for Facebook, another waste of time!!

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dkaycom Offline




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Posted: Sep. 25 2017, 04:03

well, taste differs.
bein' the "best album since Amarok" -to my ears- wasn't  that hard to go.
and though I'd rate it higher than L&S, TL, Tubular Beats (if one wants to count this one in as an album by M.O.....), Guitars ..... well .... there are others that -to my ears- "topped" Amarok since 1990.


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Priabonia Offline




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Posted: Sep. 25 2017, 12:58

Quote (First_Excursion @ Sep. 23 2017, 02:24)
Thankfully in the age of the internet we can go back and find all the great music by other artists that we didn't previously notice because we were too busy listening to Mike Oldfield all the time.

Ha, love your work - so true! I'd never even heard of stuff like Pipe Tune until a few years back.

I idly fired up RtO the other day, just to see if anything had changed...I got about 30 seconds in before starting to skip through. It sounds like a trite "tribute" track from a well meaning fan (and hey, I've done enough Mike covers, if not tributes to know what I am talking about!). As someone else said above, not enough teenage angst, hardly surprising given Mike's age


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First_Excursion Offline




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Posted: Oct. 01 2017, 04:51

Quote (qjamesfloyd @ Sep. 23 2017, 04:36)
I am sorry, but I find this negativity such a waste of time. I love the album. As for Facebook, another waste of time!!

No need to apologise.

:p
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larstangmark Offline




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Posted: Nov. 22 2017, 15:43

Quote (qjamesfloyd @ Jan. 25 2017, 09:40)
Why does the ending have to have a climax?

I think the ending has to have a climax, and my wife totally agrees! :)

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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Nov. 22 2017, 19:15

I haven't got around to buying RTO yet - in fact I've only just got around to getting MOTR. But I certainly like most of the tracks on that.
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Lancelot Offline




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Posted: Dec. 13 2017, 10:34

I listened the album again since a few month of pause, and I must say, sadly there is not really much left for me.  Although the second half of the part II I still find quite beautiful, even moving sometimes, and there are also some nice moments in the part I, I feel the rest of the album just didn't stand the probe of the time.    

Maybe this album sounds "cleared out", but for me not in a good way. It is somehow not deep enough. The weakest parts of RTO for me are those, when Mike tries to be so "aetheric" and so "ethnic", that the album almost becomes a parody of itself. (Like the begining or ending of Part I).  And I just wonder often listening the album why and how Mike devised this idea of "pureness",  "crystal clear" soundig? How did he come to the conclusion that "the more simple is the better"? Although this may work in the case of a couple of artists, I think in the case of Mike simpleness didn't come at all hand in hand with deepness -  contrary, it made his albums more superficial.

Is this just the consequence of aging, and some kind of a sentimentalism that comes with that? Or is this just some kind of a laziness, tiredness, burning out effect? Or is this because of the abscence of collaborators, good musicians, and especially a good producer, who would say, "hey, stop here, the idea is great, but you can go much deeper?"  

Though, to be fair, I am very happy that Mike still makes music. As far as there are few magic moments on an album, I am grateful to him. I just wish sometimes, I could feel again the cathartic moments that I felt when I was listening albums like Amarok. But then again... just like him, we  had also aged and changed a lot, and  those times, those emotions and those cathartic moments probably are gone forever now...
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larstangmark Offline




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Posted: Dec. 19 2017, 13:46

Just got it (late on the ball - I know). It's good. More sparse than I expected, almost demo-like. Stylistically somewhere between Amarok and Hergest Ridge. I will listen more!
I expected crap tbh.


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