- Released: February 1, 2011
- Label: Valley
- 1.The 2nd Law
- 3.Baal T'shuvah
- 8.Tomorrow Never Knows
- 9.Theme From Hatari!
- 10.Aura M??nta
- 11.Jitterboogie [Family Version]
- 12.Sofa No. 1
- 13.When I Was 4
- 14.[Hidden Track]
Personnel: Michael Hedges (vocals, various instruments); Michael Manring (fretless bass).
ORACLE won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.
Michael Hedges's Grammy-winning 1996 release contains the lush guitar lines, absorbing melodies, and dazzling technical expertise that his fans have come to expect. The compositions range from complex and moody ("Dirge") to rhythmically driven, up-tempo jaunts to bluesy groovers ("Jitterboogie") to the odd cover (Frank Zappa's "Sofa No. 1"), yet all this stylistic zigzagging in held together by Hedges's cool, soothing tone and nimble, harmonics-happy fingering.
Interestingly, ORACLE represents something of a complete creative circle for Hedges. Whereas preceding albums featured experimental approaches (like the use of the harp-guitar) and the addition of vocals, drums, synthesizers, and electric guitars, ORACLE recalls the largely instrumental acoustic landscapes of his debut effort, BREAKFAST IN THE FIELD. Sadly, a year after the release of ORACLE, Hedges died in a car crash. That ORACLE was a return to classic form for Hedges, and that it is full of beautiful, lilting compositions, make it a fine parting gift from this significant artist.