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Oceans 5 - Return to Mingulay CD (album) cover


Oceans 5


Crossover Prog

3.93 | 139 ratings

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5 stars Oceans 5 is a brand new band lead by Andy John Bradford and Colin Tench, with support of friends in several other bands. The music is mainly melodic rock and pop, but there are strong elements of sea shanties and space-rock (Pink Floyd as the main influence in this field). The album starts off with a modern sea shanty, played in a floydian mood (vintage keyboards, aerial electric guitar, slow pace). You can hear seagulls and a storm in introduction to the song, then Andy John's voice as if it came from far away, before the band steps in and the music goes on, punctuated by a singlalong chorus. Andy John's voice is reminiscent of The Byrd's vocalist, Roger McGuinn. The music overall is also somewhat reminiscent of The Byrds. The next song is in a country-rock mood, a cheerful song with some vintage keyboards and Rothery-like guitar loops. The chorus is enlivened with some humorous piano notes. The third song on the album is a nice melodic pop song played without pretention. You could swear it is a Gerry Rafferty song if you heard it on the radio. The wakemanesque keyboards give it a prog feel though. It is followed by a somewhat proggy sea shanty song where soft guitar parts alternate with more agressive ones and keyboards can be heard sparsely all along the song. Victor Tassone feasts us with some creative drumming. Keyboards mimick the sound of accordion at times, thus reinforcing the sea shanty side of the song. In the fifth song, flute-like keys and mellotron together with acoustic guitar bring us back to the golden age of english folk, yet the song evolves towards "world music" with some creative performance by Victor, this time on percussions (similarly to some Happy The Man songs). Towards the middle of the song, keyboards add a prog-rock touch. Colin provides syncopated guitar solos, a good image would be a fly catcher, short solos as if he were attempting several times to catch flies. In the sixth song, the atmosphere is floydian with vintage keys, slow pace and aerial guitar solos. Towards the end, the keyboard solo is aerial and reminding Rick Wright in Pink Floyd's album 'The Division Bell'. The song that follows is another pop song. With its title, drums and percussions are at the centre of our attention. Overall, it sounds as it would have escaped from an AOR album of the early eighties, which is another sign of the band's eclectism. Eigth track is a rock balad featuring Pink Floyd's touring choir singer Lorelei McBroom as the backing vocalist (in the chorus) and lead female vocalist. This song can be compared to Journey's "when you love a woman" through its orchestrations and the sweet chorus. Towards the middle of the song, drums roll and Lorelei performs some solo vocal performance (no lyrics associated) like in Pink Floyd's "great gig in the sky", which adds some diversity to the song. Aerial guitar solos conclude this balad. The last song is an acoustic folk balad, with some sparse incursions of Colin's syncopated electric guitar and some "mozartian" piano touches. Occasional orchestrations reinforce the balad side of the song. At 4:00, the song turns more aggressive though, Andy John insisting more on the words of the chorus, Colin's guitar solos being more prominent and Victor showing proudly his skills on drums. It returns to calm at 5:30, and then flute-like synths give it an eerie feel until the end of the song. The artwork is performed by Sonia Mota, who already worked previously for the other Colin Tench project Corvus Stone. The cover depicts the band in a cloud, which is an obvious wink to Pink Floyd's "great gig in the sky". Similarly to Corvus Stone, she is considered as part of the band.

As a conclusion, this album is a real treat for the ears, whatever your musical tastes are. All members involved play briliantly and are experienced enough to find the right balance between technique and melody.

lucas | 5/5 |


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