(All Album Reviews by maribor)
Mike Oldfield became known with the impressive Tubular Bells album, and he continued with wonderful studio albums all the way to Crises. Like his previous albums, there is one long, experimental song and five shorter, more commercial songs.
The title song is typical Oldfield, with a wonderfully diverse array of melodies ranging from symphonic, to pop, straight rock, folk and a host of other styles. The song structure becomes obvious in the final moments, when the opening theme is repeated and the circle is complete. This circular structure is typical of many of Oldfield's longer pieces; it is a distinguishing feature, which makes him such a wonderful composer. Another characteristic of this track is that we can hear the Tubular Bells theme in the background in the first couple of minutes. Absolutely breathtaking!
“Moonlight Shadow” is a nice pop song with a more conventional structure and vocals by the delicious Maggie Reilly! Her voice is absolutely beautiful and I turn to Jell-O every time I hear her voice. She just might be my favourite female vocalist.
“In High Places” is another simpler song with Jon Anderson on vocals. Anderson delivers as usually but the track is a low point with a somewhat dry melody and uninspired arrangement. “Foreign Affair” is another Maggie Reilly-sang track. But, the song is a bit too repetitive, so not even Reilly could make it better than it is.
“Taurus 3” is a very good instrumental track. It is very powerful and dynamic, and along with “Crises”, and “Moonlight Shadow”, another standout track. “Shadow on the Wall”, like “Moonlight Shadow” was another big hit for Oldfield. It is a bit harder rocking than is usual for Oldfield, though nothing special.
All in all, this is a wonderful symphonic album by one of the best composers and multi-instrumentalists. There are various other genres hidden in this album as well and this makes for a very versatile and exciting album; maybe his last great album?
8.5 out of 10.