2017-01-20

notmypresident: (Tubular Bells)
In what seems like an ironic coincidence, the new album from one of my favorite artists was released today on what would otherwise have been a distressing time.

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Instrumentalist Mike Oldfield gave me my favorite album ("Tubular Bells," of course) all the way back in 1973. He then followed that piece with two albums in the same style, "Hergest Ridge" (1974) and "Ommadawn" (1975). Oldfield has crated several iterations of TB since then — who can blame him, considering that anything with "Tubular Bells" in the title tends to vastly outsell his other works — but today's release of RTO marks his first attempt to carry on from a different source.

Remarkably, "Return to Ommadawn" works incredibly well. Oldfield opted to craft another long-playing record with two suites that fill up each "side" of an album. It's rather surprising to hear a new piece of music fashioned in this way; even Oldfield's subsequent TB projects focused more on individual segments than entire suites. But the style really pays off, IMHO. The pleasure of the music comes from experiencing the entirety of each piece. And Oldfield smartly includes aural references to the first "Ommadawn," in way that made me smile numerous times at the recognition.

I was worried that my anticipation for the project would lead to unrealistic expectations, and I'm thrilled (yes, thrilled) to see that Mr. Oldfield overcame them all. Suddenly, it's 1973 all over again!

Here's Another Hot Guy, who is probably listening to RTO even as I write this...

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