Voyager Review

Beat October 23, 1996

9 out of 10

The genius of Mike Oldfield shines with sweeping certainty on this Celtic-drenched opus. Noted for a range of celestially expansive albums replete with a progressive ambient, Oldfield usually wears his deep intellectuality on his sleeve.

Voyager is magnetically deep. And placed. Its placid air transmits a soothing, healing-like quality. The title-track is very tranquil and the musical accents are softened considerably. The music is the perfect backdrop to a windless, pleasantly warm spring aftrnoon. The Gaelic airs, here, are just that. Soft and gentle. With help from the London Symphony Orchestra, Maire Breatnach, the Highland pipers and Liam O'Flynn, Oldfield contruct[s] the most engaging sounds you'll ever want to hear on a contemporary recording. Celtic Rain, for instance, ambles delightfully with a slow, measured pace including a trance-like effect. The very rich Gaelic ambience of The Song Of The Sun for me somehow conjures up green, undulating Irish landscapes miles from the angst and the grime of suburbia. But that's Mike Oldfield, miles from the mainstream but in an odd sort of way, he courts the middle of the road, too. His, as usual, is a warm sound, an intimate invitation for listeners to participate in the appreciation of his incredible craft. Voyager is testimony to Oldfield's insatiable thirst for and magnificent delivery of broad, soft-canvassed masterpieces.

Reproduced without permission from Beat Magazine (Issue 524) for private and research purposes only.