NEW Mike Oldfield - Light & Shade (CD)
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MIKE OLDFIELD Light And Shade (2005 UK 18-track double CD album comprises of two albums with different personalities Light - a set of atmospheric ambient songs and Shade - a more up-tempo collection with a darker moodier feel and both are a reflection of the two sides of his musical personality and includes the UK Bonus recordings Pres De Toi & Lakme [Fruity Loops]; picture sleeve with back inlay)
Top Customer Reviews
The u-myx idea is cool, but you're limited to choosing which tracks are on/off and their volume. It's not much of a mix if you can't change the position of certain tracks in the song, so the u-myx thing is pretty much useless for real mixing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mike Oldfield, along with Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, was one of the first pioneers of New Age/Classical music, and he's proven himself a talent. However, the creativity department has been lacking in the past decade. "Light + Shade" is a step in the right direction.
The album is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Oldfield re-utilizes "Tubuluar Bells" segments mixed strategically into some of the songs. While some might be harsh in criticizing this albums, I found that it's one of his better instrumental albums. I was disappointed with "Tres Lunas", "Guitars", "Tubular Bells 3" and "Millenium Bell", and I really wish Mike would do away with "Tubular Bells altogether because I've had enough of the different interpretations of that piece of music.
Even though "Light + Shade" is a return to form, I'd still like to see him try something new--especially after being around for 33 years. There's nothing to lose, Mike, and why not return to what you do best which is electronic pop songs. Set aside the intrumental background music and return to "Five Miles Out", "Crises", "Discovery", "Islands" and "Earth Moving" territory for a little while.
Oldfield clearly has some of his musical faculties still in place here, occasionaly a rather pleasing tune announces itself Angelique or The Gate for example but for the larger part there is too much repitition with no real development. The sepration of light and shade into discs 1 and 2 seems completely pointless to me, I don't like to compare each album to his previous masterpieces but the juxtaposition of differing moods was always one of his great strengths.
Most significantly for me on this album I don't feel any real human emotion. The music, especially the percussion, is very obviously programmed which I do not inherently have a problem with, I like a lot electronic music but it just doesn't work here at all. Further to that I get the impression that anyone with a laptop and some music software could knock this together very easily and so there is no sense of mystery, no "whoa, how did he do that?".
I have to mention the tiresome use of that chime bar effect in all the climaxes (if you can call them such), there are only so many of these I can listen to and one of them, namely in Surfing, actually cuts out half-way through, sounds like a lazy school boy error to me, a real shame because Surfing might have been the albums redeeming feature but it falls into all the same production pit-falls as most of Oldfield's music from his regretable 'chill-out' phase.
Oldfield has always liked to keep up with music technology but I hate to say it, Light and Shade actaully sounds very dated, there were moments when I thought I was listening Jean Michel Jarre some 20 years ago and not the good stuff either! And all that trance, dance-floor stuff is just embarrassing.
I do feel a pang of guilt slating an Oldfield album so heavily but although there are one or two pleasant moments this really is a poor album. Listen to the samples first before diving in to make sure it's your cup of tea.
If it's a modern or more recent Oldfield release you're after I would suggest Music Of The Spheres, it's a much stronger album than this. If you're a fervent Oldfield fan or were impressed by Oldfield's earlier albums I would track down Andrew Taylor's Mohribold album (google it!). This guy has clearly soaked up Tubular Bells, Ommadawn and all the rest with a great thirst though he does show a flare, palette and technique all of his own too. I downloaded it from a site called bandcamp and have listened to it a lot. If, like me, you were disappointed with Tres Lunas and Light & Shade Mohribold will help fill that hole where a new really great Oldfield album should be.