A slight African theme can be singled out around the edges of Amarok, as Oldfield employs such instruments as bongo and clay drums, mixed in with ukulele and flamenco guitar. The sound of a toothbrush can be heard in one part of the album, as his unique combinations of noises and effects make up the bulk of this average sounding album. As much as the instruments are interesting to listen to, the rhythms and the syncopations that zigzag and intermingle come up short in leu of a final product. The most entertaining part of Amarok involves a chorus of childlike chants with the roar of a wild beast heard in the background, joined by some appealing drum beats off in the distance. The liner notes tell a short story of two men that discover a huge golden statue somewhere in ancient Africa. One man can hear music emanating from this figure, while the other hears something totally different, which in fact is the theme of Amarok. What is heard by some, may be heard differently by others, but nonetheless the result is music in one form or another. Some alluring moments do strike the ears during the course of this album, but entire layout falls short of holding attention.
by Mike DeGagne