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Derek Sherinian - Oceana CD (album) cover

OCEANA

Derek Sherinian

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.67 | 124 ratings

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Starhammer
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Into a watery Eden...

For me this was one of the more pleasant surprise of 2011. I can't say I was expecting much having spent the last two years trying and failing to appreciate Molecular Heinosity, but several key changes make Oceana not only a more enjoyable experience, but also one of Sherinian's best works to date.

The Good: Firstly, his keyboards are more prominent and don't just sit behind the guitars like in recent outings. This recalls a style more similar to his debut solo release, Planet X. And then there's the lineup. With contributions from Tony Macalpine, Steve Lukather, Steve Stevens, Doug Aldrich and BCC band-mate Joe Bonamassa, its not hard to see which direction Sherinian wanted to take with this record.

Gone are the endless, sterile solos and metal clichés, in place we have killer hooks, engaging fusion exploration, and more than a hint of blues rock. Prolific session musician Simon Philips returns with another excellent, yet understated contribution as drummer and co-writer. The third appealing aspect of this release is it's total lack of vocals, something that has been 'missing' from Sherinian's recent solo output.

The Bad: Oceana is a very consistent album with nine great compositions. It has certainly become a regular feature amongst my playlists. But considering it from a 'prog' angle I find it to be a bit too predictable with rigid song structure and a 'less than smooth' transition between musical passages.

The Verdict: One of the strongest instrumental releases of 2011.

Starhammer | 3/5 |

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