WITHOUT wanting to sound too forthright, it’s hard to envisage how Mike Oldfield’s 25th studio outing could be any more middle-of-the-road.
Radio (2)-tailored and beige enough to colour Gary Barlow’s lounge, songs like Following the Angels and Give Myself Away bear few hallmarks of a prog legend, and sadly conform to what fans have come to expect in this day and age.
Sure, there’s much to admire from a musical perspective, with vocalist Luke Spiller proving a fine foil for the 60-year-old’s usual array of steady builds and climatic solos.
Yet even in its best moments, Man On Rhe Rocks rouses little more than mild enjoyment.
It’s fine for a spin or two, but will inevitably gather dust soon thereafter. 5/10. AW