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Eloy - Ocean CD (album) cover

OCEAN

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.22 | 677 ratings

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Negoba
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Bad Accent on Valium

I have been exploring some of the classic but slightly lesser known bands here on PA lately, and have found some amazing albums, some strange but interesting albums, and some average prog. I've also picked up a few clunkers and Eloy's Ocean falls into that category. The opening instrumental section is promising ? it's energetic spacey prog, though relatively typical. About 5 minutes in, the vocals come in as the music settles down into airy synth beds and it's all downhill from there.

The vocalist's voice itself is pleasant enough, but the heavy German accent singing in English is just bad. Compounding this is an overcranked reverb / delay that sounds like a 50's sci-fi movie. The lyrics sound recited rather than sung, and the fantasy ? spiritual themes fall into cliché mainly due to the second (or fifth) language issue. In general, these themes are right up my alley and part of why I can really get into prog. But sometimes, it just gets laughable and here is one of those times.

The music is tightly performed but for the most part very forgettable. Dreamy, often slow, ambient stretches dominate the album, which now sounds very dated. New age music has come a long way in 30 years, and the modern listener just needs a little more going on. To be fair, the rhythm section is quite good, easily the best part of the band. The drums vary quite a bit and the bass is bold and moving. But the lead elements both fair to grab or maintain my interest. The guitar is often non-existent and the keys remain as a textural element for the vast majority of the time. It's as if no one really wants to step up into the spotlight.

Many of the sections are pleasant enough and if there was just a little more happening this could be good music. Again, I think of Camel, who also utilize this type of sound at times, but also had so many pleasant morsels in their bag of tricks. Their vocals, too, lack a bit, but they offer so much more in composition and lead playing. I would turn to even Camel's debut before this one. And if you're interested in obscure spacey prog, Gong is going to deliver so much more.

The prog here is minimal, though this does utilize the usual and customary sounds and tonalities. For those who were listening to the genre at the time, I suspect this music holds a different meaning. But in my eyes looking back, this music just doesn't hold up. I would hide it from anyone trying to discredit the genre, because they'll find plenty to ridicule here. The skills and execution are enough to save it from getting a 1 star rating, but unless you're just looking to fill out a collection, I'd save your money.

Negoba | 2/5 |

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