Released in 2002 after a series of high-toned concept recordings, Tres Lunas
is a bit of a return to straight-up, new age mood music for Mike Oldfield
. The musician/composer once again spins carefully layered guitar and keyboard performances into a seemingly endless stream of space-age lullabies supported by the faintest of beats -- most of which rarely exceed the intensity of a weak pulse. "No Man's Land" and "Turtle Island" have the most character in this set, but a record like this should be taken in as a whole. A nifty "Music VR" video game is included that allows fans to explore 3D landscapes on their computer while listening to the disc. Of course, to "unlock" the software, users have to pay a little extra cash. The music of Tres Lunas
is the soundtrack for the game, which is the actual focus of this project. This premise doesn't set-up well for standard tension-and-release song elements; however, Oldfield
fans shouldn't expect traditional compositions from the man anyway. Since most of the conceptual tinkering that went into Tres Lunas
was focused on the computer game, not
the music, Oldfield
doesn't overwork his arrangements, which leaves them fresh and leaner than many of his late-'90s offerings.