Mike Oldfield - Man On The Rocks

Man On The Rocks

One to cast away
Mike Oldfield’s first album in
six years hopefully won’t be
his last – it would be a terrible
way to end a very productive
career. Recorded in the
Bahamas with a hand-picked
group comprising interstellar
players, Man On The Rocks is
a collection of 11 songs that
sound as though they were
recorded in the 80s rather
than the 2010s.

No singer himself, Oldfield
has brought Luke Spiller into
the mix. Vocalist with Virgin
signings The Struts, Spiller
might have a great voice with
a bit of Bono about it, but your heart goes out to him.
From start to finish, the lyrics
are dreadful. Many tick every
box on a list of empty
platitudes, their glib sentiments
consistently obstructing the
enjoyment of the music. Irene,
a blues based song about that
that laid waste to parts of the
Caribbean and the US East
Coast in 2011, is laughable.
“She’s comin’ and we’re
runnin’,” is the best Oldfield
could find to say of it – and
the album is full of similar
tosh, until, like the singer
declares, you too will be
banging your head against
a brick wall.

Tracks such as Sailing and
I Give Myself Away (a William
McDowell cover) are OK, but
Moonshine, a faux sentimental
ballad about Irish immigration
to the US, is again disastrous.
The guitar solos are the
album’s single saving grace.

1 stars

Virgin/EMI | cat no tbc (CD / LP)

Reviewed by Ian Shirley
<< Back to Issue 425

You might also like: