Mike Oldfield - Return to Ommadawn album review: Long playing from long ago

Return To Ommadawn
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Artist: Mike Oldfield
Genre: World Music
Label: Virgin/EMI

Returning to Ommadawn (1975), his third acoustic album, for inspiration, Mike Oldfield takes that beloved long-playing format that he made his own to create this latest acoustic album of two suites.

Unsurprisingly playing every instrument himself, he still picks a mean melody line, with what feels like a very natural harking back to the original for inspiration.Oldfield opts mostly for a spacious, dream-like sound, and his guitar playing is the star of both suites. The two set pieces are unquestionably rooted in the 1970s, where their roots in prog-rock lie.

Oldfield hasn’t lost that uncanny ability to release an earworm of a melody line into the ether, which will likely please his considerable fan base no end. Whether it will extend his appeal to a new audience is unlikely.

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Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long

Siobhán Long, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about traditional music and the wider arts