British multi-instrumentalist/composer Oldfield has certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of the Tubular Bells “franchise,” with past remakes and repackaging of it as an orchestral work, various re-issues and so forth. But here he takes that seminal piece, as well as a number of his other best known compositions, and gives them a shimmering electronic redux. “Let There Be Light” and “Ommadawn” retain their ambient and trance-like originality, but are given a fresh, intoxicating groove. This disc is, in essence, an overview of the leader’s career highlights but, with added guitar parts and musical passages throughout, the songs take on a whole new perspective.
By Eric A. Harabadian