I love the film the Exorcist, so after hearing the creepy sounding "Tubular Bells" often and having them conjure up feelings of cold autumn days, I really had to check out the album behind the film, at least so that I could have something to frighten people. What I found was something more beautiful and complex than I could have ever expected. The music took on a beautiful, rather than "creepy" quality after having heard this several times through. Its amazing what Mike Oldfield has created here--its as if he has created modern classical music. The music goes through so many different changes and moods, complete with fantastic musical ideas and playing, that you'd never guess it was all played by one man. How did he do this?!
The first part is the Exorcist theme we all know and love, but there's way more to it than that. I actually prefer the second movement to the first, because it builds nicely and features the most beautiful music I have ever heard. The part I'm talking about is the after the wierd cookie-monster death metal vocal part, at about 16:30, before the Irish pub music. Whenever I hear that part it seriously takes me away to somewhere beautiful. GODLY!!! Just this part is worth $[amount]. Seriously.
Now, the few flaws. The cookie monster part is just really weird, interrupting the lovely flow of the second movement. There's a few other parts too, that may seem out of place, but if you remember that this is supposed to be a symphony to water, the whole piece does represent the spectrum of changes in water.
This is simply a masterpiece of music. I don't know where you'd be able to categorize it. It needs to be heard, enjoyed, and respected. I've never heard any of Oldfield's other stuff, but this is beyond words. Godly, masterpiece, genious, all can be used to describe this, but you won't get the full idea unless you listen to it with an open mind.