Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CD REVIEW




Mike Oldfield


"Guitars"


Warner Bros. Records/Soyuz


It takes a lot of time and patience to hear someone like Mike Oldfield through.


Put this record on and you will get the impression that his audible efforts to deviate from his own New Age classics will never end.


Longish instrumentals follow one another, but differ from one another enough to keep you awake.


Fortunately or unfortunately, Oldfield can't offer us any guitar-surfing technique, and his riffs in this release are far from sophisticated.


But the New Age veteran sure does know how to line up his tracks to keep you asking for more.


Having started with a classical New Age acoustic guitar number, Oldfield then catches you off guard with a droning riff in the middle of the second track. It does sound very close to Jimmy Page's classic in Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," but it lets us know that Oldfield has a rough edge too.


While superb in finding the right tone for his mainstream acoustic guitar, the dream-obsessed Brit has, however, failed to do the same for his electric licks.


Especially irritating is the occasional, old-fashioned jingling of Oldfield's guitar in "Out of Sight" that has been heavily influenced by the British guitar instrumental gurus of the band The Shadows.


Other power-chord heavies of this record are much more tolerable, although they also reveal influences of bands that have traditionally been far away from Oldfield's musical experiments, such as the UK's evil hard-rock pioneer Black Sabbath.


Buy this album if you have neither money nor time to get hold of a British rock guitar anthology.


WiseHand


"Manschoud"


Warner Bros. Records/Soyuz


There are certain combinations that always help you score on the modern music scene.


One of them is a modest blend of ethnic music and enigmatic romanticism, like in WiseHand's latest album, "Manschoud."


WiseHand wisely follows in the tracks of such European romantic powerhouses as Enigma and Michelle Farmer with the same kind of sad vocals and electronic orchestrations.


But WiseHand does have its own ethnic Asian identity, which is best heard in Jasmin Kiesel's voice, and which ensures that this album will not be dismissed in Russia as was another, hugely popular Enigma knock-off.


Kiesel's voice vibrations sound especially tempting in "Sari." In this track, the little-known singer comes pretty close to the sound of Israel's half-forgotten Yemenite music star Ofra Haza.


Kiesel's vocals on other tracks are less thrilling, although you can hear that she is trying hard to leave a lasting impression on major label producers.


But this German dance-beat wizard should still be given a thumbs-up for his ability to sense that anything ethnic and enigmatic sells well nowadays.


These CDs are on sale at the following Soyuz stores:


Vsesoyuzny, TsUM, 5th floor, Tel. 292-5902, M. Teatralnaya.


Soyuz, 6/2 Stary Arbat. Tel. 202-7997, M. Arbatskaya.


Soyuz-T, 2 Ul. Lyublinskaya. Tel. 352-4350, M. Tekstilshchiki.


? Simon Saradzhyan