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Spherical bells

I'm a big fan of Mike Oldfield music. I love some of his albums, specially the oldest ones. Being a fan of a live and active artist (as opposed to a dead or retired artist such as Mozart or Velázquez) has some advantages and drawbacks. Firstly, you hope that you'll love his next creation. Actually, you can expect the same from any artist, even those you don't know, but it is more likely that you'll enjoy something from an artist you already know. Unfortunately, you are also exposed to being disappointed by the next album. Funnily enough, it is also more likely that you'll be disappointed by an artist you know, because you have high expectations.

It is sad to observe how the career of an artist you (used to) like sometimes evolves in a way you no longer enjoy. I was close to assume that this was the case with Oldfield. His recent albums were moving further from my taste. Maybe his talent was fading out?

Fortunately (for me), Oldfield's "Music of the Spheres" is an amazing piece of modern/classical music. Its sound is fresh and unique, while at the same time, it can be recognized as an Oldfield album. The structure of the album, as well as some of the tracks, bring back our memories of Tubular Bells I and II. Particularly, the compass of "Harbinger" is comparable to the opening of TB, while the strings in "Musica Universalis" mimic the bass of "The Bell". Moreover, this track contains a slow melody that is repeated by a sequence of instruments that leads to the sound of the bells, although this time there isn't any master of ceremonies to introduce the next instrument. Other excellent tracks include "The tempest" (which sounds like a film soundtrack), "Aurora" (amazing orchestral sound) and "Empyrean" (sort prelude to the grand finale).

Definitely, Oldfield still retains his talent. I'll enjoy "Music of the Spheres" while I wait for his next album!.