Mike Oldfield - Crises

Album cover

  1. Crises (20:40)
  2. Moonlight Shadow (3:37)
  3. In High Places (3:33)
  4. Foreign Affair (3:53)
  5. Taurus 3 (2:25)
  6. Shadow On The Wall (3:07)

Virgin, 1983

also by Mike Oldfield:

This short album couples a side-long instrumental piece with a few short pop songs. I can't have been the only one to wonder why Mike Oldfield had such a high and squeaky voice after hearing "Moonlight Shadow" on the radio in the 80s. (Of course its actual singer, Maggie Reilly, was Oldfield's most frequent guest vocalist from this period) This hit tune has a pleasingly folky lilt, but if you thought it was drippy, then stay far away from "Foreign Affair". That throwaway ditty is made even worse by some awful lyrics. The first side is where most of the substance of this album is. While "Five Miles Out" could have been accused of rambling, each of the short musical episodes in "Crises" is punchy and to the point. Oldfield even does a decent spot of singing here, on the strong, riffing "crises, crises" section and the rather gothic "watcher in the tower" passage. Its heavy percussion and choir-filled climax is standard Oldfield stuff, but this is one of his best instrumental pieces from the 1980s.

July 22, 2004

7 out of 10

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