The first half of the album consists of the 20-minute epic title track. This is reminiscent of his previous full-length pieces and it goes off into all sorts of directions. It starts off in the vein of Mike’s previous instrumental pieces such as ‘Ommadawn’ and ‘Hergest Ridge.’ First we hear bells and chimes which move on to an infectious guitar solo. Then the song speeds up into a fast paces rock and roll number in which Mike starts to sing a bit. The song then mellows out to the ‘watcher in the tower’ section before going back into the traditional instrumental sound closing with the same sounds it opened with.
The second half features five short pop songs. The first is the beautiful hit single ‘Moonlight Shadow’ featuring the superb vocals of Maggie Reilly. Next comes ‘In high places’ featuring the springy vocals of Jon Anderson from fellow prog-rockers Yes. Maggie Reilly lends her voice a second time on the catchy yet somehow warped ‘Foreign Affair.’ ‘Taurus 3’ is a brilliant instrumental piece mostly driven by guitars which concludes the “Taurus trilogy” that ran through Mile Oldfield’s previous albums “QEII” and “Five Miles Out.” The album then rocks out at the end with the track ‘Shadow on the wall.’ Roger Chapman’s rugged vocals on this track add a lot to it’s rock sound.
This is yet another Oldfield classic. This album shows him successfully combine his epic instrumental style with his later pop-rock styles. The title track takes the listener onto yet another interesting journey. While the six shorter tracks are pop orientated pieces they show a lot of depth and musical brilliance that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere. The bottom line is, don’t trust anyone who tries to tell you that Mike Oldfield didn’t produce anything good after Tubular Bells!