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Topic: My review: VERY VERY GOOD MIKE.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
TheMann Offline




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Joined: June 2004
Posted: Dec. 18 2005, 15:01

Congratulations Mike to a really good album! I like Light & Shade!

Here is the truth according to The Man. (I could have added this to some already existing topic, but I want to reach Mike himself!;).

Yes, I was very suspicious after having read Mike's somewhat perculiar descriptions of the tracks. Add to this the rather uninspired output in the period 1996-2000. Mike must have been rather tired of making music here, and although I know that many members of this forum loves TBIII and Guitars, I consider exactly these records as quite hasty, if not just plain bad. ... Fast cheap solutions, sloppy guitar playing (is it really Mike?), and few ideas. (TBIII is however much better live).
And then came the fantastically boring Millenium Bell!  My God. Mike claiming that “MB is what my entire life has been about”. I was worried...
But it feels like Mike became more inspired again with Tres Lunas. Despite the Bulgarian noseflute [or is it a saxophone?]. Tracks like NoMansLand and BackToTheOrigin are great. Here, the guitars communicate again. Then, the re-recording of Tubular Bells turned out to be far more interesting and well-played then I ever would have thought, just listen to tracks like Bases, Finale, and Ambient Guitars!

So when Light & Shade came out, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Mikes descriptions certainly didn’t reassure confidence. Perhaps one or two tracks being quite listenable, but with the rest of it being just synth-pad muzak...  ?

Listen carefully now: it takes a *** true genius *** to come up with the powerful voices of Resolution, and  the two lead guitars singing out the TearsOfAnAngel lead theme, not to mention the beutiful vocaloid lyrics in exactly that song! Surfing is just as genius, a completely unbelivebly catchy song, still avoiding being mainstream. These three tracks are more powerful than Mike’s entire output 1996-2000 if you ask me.
Add to this the magical OUR FATHER, the most outstanding track on the entire double-CD! That lyrical somewhat sad guitar, SINGING for us, its tricky melody, all those bended notes (like the ones occuring exactly at 02.00), ... it talks right into my heart! Touching! MIKE ARE YOU READING THIS? That wonderful piano main theme, simple but lyrical ... and the piano and guitar teamwork! Fitting perfectly together. The guitar adds very much dimension to that piano tune. Great!  Angelique is also quite nice, I like it. And Blackbird is also kind of touching (I usually don’t like Mike’s pure piano pieces very much). First, I didn’t think very highly about Sunset, but now I must confess, it has a nice mood and the guitars are expressing something. It is a touching piece.

Mike is PLAYING again!  

I most confess that FirstSteps took me a while to enjoy, I couldn’t understand why anyone would like to reuse that simple theme again but now it has grown upon me to that degree that I find the piece fascinating. Kind of strange that piece, but in a good way...  What does Mike want with this piece? It is different from other longer MO compositions... A wonderful moment is after minute or so, when the strings add those lovely chords to the simple guitar tune. There is much power in Quicksilver and Slipstream as well, although being a bit simpler in structure than the above mentioned tracks. I like them, and play them very loud!  

Mike you are still going strong!
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TheMann Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2006, 08:33

It is interseting that there are very few tracks that I don't like at all. E.g., on my absolute favorite TSODE there are 5-6 tracks which leave me cold (however the good ones are extremely good), and this is true for many releases like TBII, TresLunas, Islands, more.

But this time I don't like the very last track on Shade, it seems uninspired to me. Of course, Romance is not very exciting. TheGate should have been more developed.
Otherwise I pretty much enjoy all the rest.

Imagine all those tracks with good old MO transitions in between
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Piltdownboy on horseback 22 Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2006, 08:51

Very nice review!! (I also particulary agree with the bit about M.Bell!!! ) :)
But I have to say that maybe Nightshade (the very last track) is my favourite from the album...
And I also love Romance so much, that I yesterday decided to buy this 4cd-box with the best of Trance music 2005...
Shame Mike wasn't on there by the way  ;)
hehe... and I never would have guessed that I was ever going to do that in my life!! My friends have all left me immediatly ;)

Well, done the Mann  :cool:


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FiFfay fiyao Et que jouait du banjo!!
FiFfay fiyao Et que jouait du banjooo

(Voulez vous de beurre??!!!)
(it was great craic, and very convenient!! ;)
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Deadcalm Offline




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Posted: June 20 2006, 04:17

Nice Review!!!  Funnily enough Im still playing this Album a Lot.
I find it very good as a background Listen and then you can pause
and click into it when the favourite tks start playing.. .I find Nightshade a bit ponderous as well but overall theres nothing on the entire 2cds I could say i dislike... Im playing it more
that Tres lunas anyway although i like that 2.. L&S seems to have a brighter feel to it but equally "Chill Out" ... Maybe in Years to come this Album will be looked on with more affection than it gets now as the mark of a good album in my eyes is the time it gets on the turntable.. In my case still about 5 a week .. not bad really !!
:D
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Tati The Sentinel Offline




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Posted: June 20 2006, 09:08

Nightshade for me,with its perfect state of trance to me,is version in the one from the German Promo,which I don't know why didn't appear on the album  :/

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"But it's always the outsider, the black sheep, that becomes the blockbuster." - Mike Oldfield, 2014

"I remember feeling that I'd been judged unfairly and that I was going to prove them wrong." - Peter Davison, 2011
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Quicksilver Offline




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Posted: July 15 2006, 16:35

Yeah, the german promo version is way better (at least for me). It's more progressive and has a good Guitar climax at the end
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Tati The Sentinel Offline




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Posted: July 15 2006, 18:24

Quote (Quicksilver @ July 15 2006, 18:35)
Yeah, the german promo version is way better (at least for me). It's more progressive and has a good Guitar climax at the end

That's the main reason that the german version of Nightshade is much much better than the album version!

--------------
"But it's always the outsider, the black sheep, that becomes the blockbuster." - Mike Oldfield, 2014

"I remember feeling that I'd been judged unfairly and that I was going to prove them wrong." - Peter Davison, 2011
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Tubularman Offline




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Posted: July 15 2006, 21:17

L+S still grown in me. I love it very much..
still after my mix and work with the album i like it. I just needed a little break he he...
Thought, im a little into the Pink Floyd corner just now..
But to calm down (just like now) listening to tb 2 live :)

There are many great tracks in L+S. I have never hated it or disliked it, only thing i wondered about was the bonus tracks to not be included really..
Why not "Pres de Toi" instead of "closer"??
Why not the German version of "NIght Shade"?

There was such things that made me make my own mix!
Thought there is no Lakme in it he he..

But anyway, without those bonus tracks i still enjoy the album very much. (im really into chill and trance)
Angelique, Our father, Blackbird, First steps, Rocky, Quicksilver, Surfing, Tears from an angel, Romance and Nightshade are really good tunes for me. If it was only for these songs on the album i would love it..


--------------
Mike Oldfield M i x e s
https://soundcloud.com/tubularman
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SoimSandheaver Offline




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Posted: July 16 2006, 13:56

I think it's amazing how Mike can blend tragedy with beauty at the same time. Romance is a haunting piece of music that gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. We all know that feeling of the so-called "dark side" of emotion and romance, and it is displayed perfectly in this piece of music. Meanwhile you get tunes like Angelique and Blackbird which are just so beautiful.

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"Three blokes go into a pub, one of them's a little bit stupid, then the whole scene unfolds, with a tedious inevitability."
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: May 27 2007, 03:15

I also find the music sad, lovely, and haunting at times. I wasn't expecting this level of dance/techno/trance immersion, so I'm a little surprised, but - as I like dance/techno/trance - pleasantly so. It's really amazing, to me, having all this rhythmicity combined with Mike's melodiousness and guitar sounds that I love so much. I find the overall effect a very sensual one.

Just got the album today, btw. I'm currently listening to it for the second time, and it's really turning me on.


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"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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trcanberra Offline




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Posted: Mar. 21 2008, 07:36

Just listened to L+S today.  Was going to save Light for tomorrow, but enjoyed Shade so much I had to listen to it as well.

I think they are a great pair, almost Korean flag in yin-yang.

I must say I am starting to despair at some of the complaints from "dedicated" fans who think Mike has done nothing good since 199X, or for some, 197X).  For me this is a great release, full of fine musicianship, lovely melodies and a great range of expression.

I much prefer this to the xth incarnation of that Bell thing (even though I love what he did to it in Quicksilver).

I found Sunset divine, and the keyboards in Rocky a revelation.
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: Mar. 23 2008, 03:38

Quote (trcanberra @ Mar. 21 2008, 07:36)
I must say I am starting to despair at some of the complaints from "dedicated" fans who think Mike has done nothing good since 199X, or for some, 197X).

If I recall correctly, didn't a couple of early detractors have a change of opinion after multiple listenings? I can understand people having an attachment to specific MO eras. There was a time, long ago, when Ommadawn was the be-all and end-all for me. I'm just really happy to have discovered that I like so much of what MO's done since, as it makes for a large selection of goodies to choose from!


--------------
"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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11 replies since Dec. 18 2005, 15:01 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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