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3 stars Excuse the pun but its hard not to think that Vangelis is treading water here.Musically it discloses nothing new although if you are a fan of his Antartica album then may well be down your street.Its all very nice ,lots of trademark Vangelis melodies and totally inoffensive to the point of near blandness.'Islands Of The Orient' is the best peice but overall I suspect you can live a happy life without ever hearing this.
Report this review (#34914)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a pleasant album, presenting sophisticated easy-listening music with both very enjoyable and sadly also quite boring moments. The shorter overtures like "Bon Voyage" and "Dreams of Surf" and pretty, and "Spanish Harbour" has a nice acoustic guitar on it. I wondered with my friend, is this a real guitar or done with a synthesizer? The dullest element for me on this record were the unimaginative drum loops, which are sampled to the backgrounds of some longer tracks like "Sirens' Whispering", and they probably make this more accessible to the bigger audiences. A good album still, but not essential.
Report this review (#39309)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is richly layered with oceanic soundscapes that depicts moods of the Sirens ( remember them?) the ebb and flow of the tides, months of sailing on the open ocean and generally warm spiritual splendour. It reminds me of Incantaions part one from Mike oldfield only in that it is repetitive but at the same time beautifully hypnotic.This is quite possibly one of Vangelis's last great studio releases as he now enjoys the quick remuneration of soundtrack scores. Who would blame him? Check out highlights being ' Siren's whispering' , and ' Fields of Coral'.Excellent work.
Report this review (#108933)
Posted Friday, January 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of Vangelis' most pleasant albums. I have read some reviews that said it was overly simple and boring. Maybe they said that because it is pretty. There really isn't a whole lot of complexity here, other than that provided by lush orchestrations and arrangements. Or maybe it is because the reviewers I read took themselves and the music they listen to too seriously, because Vangelis waxed more whimsical on this one than usual. The album opens with Bon Voyage, and my first impression of it was that he was trying to fit the most sound into the smallest package. The piece is soft in it lushness, and grand in its melody. It is also short. Here we have a light-classical opening which blends into the highly whimsical Sirens' Whispering. I think this is what turned on the other reviewers. The women's choir sounds more like mermaids cavorting than sirens calling. Don't take it too seriously and you will enjoy it. That's a statement you will rarely find applied to Vangelis. The majority of the album is mid-tempo and more in line with so-called New Age easy listening than any other work of his. The arrangements make it vintage Vangelis, however, and it is light years above anything you find in the New Age category. Highlights include Spanish Harbour, with its Spanish guitar, Memories of Blue, a variation on Memories of Green, and the closer, Song of the Seas, which is the perfect soundtrack for watching the sun set over the ocean while sitting on the sea-cliffs of a Mediterranean island. Too light for most Vangelis fans, I think, but still a worthy addition to the canon.
Report this review (#294892)
Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars There has been a long time already that Vangelis released albums without any surprise for the listener. This one is no exception. There are very little emotions contained in this "Oceanic".

If you like orchestrated music, harpsichord and synthetic waves sound, it might well work for you, but to my ears it sounds all cliché and boring ("Siren's Whispering"). This album is also too much classic oriented to my taste and the melodies featured are rather flat ("Dream Of Surf"). "Spanish Harbour" starts fine: a nice and melodic Spanish guitar intro announces a slight variety in this album but, unfortunately it is quite soon overloaded by orchestral stuff and ends up as a real disaster.

Each track is monochord and repetitive ("Islands Of The Orient","Fields Of Coral" or "Aquatic Dance"). It sounds as elevator or supermarket music (you pick). The man has used us to better things ("La Fête Sauvage", "Spiral" or "Antartica").

There are extremely few good moments on this album. Let's say that the closing "Song Of The Seas" can be considered as the best (?) one available.

In all, this album is rather average and can't score higher than two stars (and I'm generous). If you really want to listen to some great oceanscape music, do try the very good albums from "Land's End". It is waaaaay better than this one.

Report this review (#306828)
Posted Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars An album inspired to the Oceans has to be evocative of calm see and storms, waves and abysses.

The intro "Bon Voyage" has something of Antarctica or the closer of the previous album. Just an intro.

"Siren's Whispering" has a sirtaki tempo underlined by a repetitive bass line. Mediterranean sea is not an ocean, and the two chords separated bi an interval of fifth remind to "La Dolce Vita" more than to the deep sea. Harp, voices and waves behind are not enough. Too repetitive and with too few musical ideas.

"Dreams of Surf" is just a piano filler inspired by classical music. I can't see any surf or beach boy.

We have to wait for the 4th track "Spanish Harbour" to find something interesting. This is repetitive as the previous, but a bit bluesy. The acoustic guitar (or a keyboard? who knows) should justify the track's title. Apart of that flamenco-like interlude thare's nothing very Spanish in this track. However it's good enough. The first really good track of this album.

"Islands Of The Orient" is progressive electronic and spacey. Edgar Froese as reference, just more melodic.

"Fields Of Coral" is slower and based on minor chords. It's a spacey repetitive track. For who likes the late Tangerine Dream.

"Aquatic Dance" is a more typical Vangelis electronic piece but nothing special.

The title "Memories Of Blue" reminds to "Memories of Green" initially released on the poor "See You Later" and reused for Blade Runner. The similarity is only in the structure: a piano over keyboard violins. Not bad but not at the sale level of the Green one..

The best track is the last: "Song of the Seas". It's more inspired. Vangelis seems to have put more composing efforts on this track than on the rest of the album. This partially saves a mediocre performance.

My impression is that Vangelis has tried to make a follow-up to the quite successful "Voices", but didn't put enough effort on it. Most of the tracks are just a short repeated sequence. What lasts for 7 minutes could stay in 2. Song Of the Seas is the only exception.

This track and Spanish Harbour deserve more, but the overall rating for this album is "fans only".

Report this review (#373063)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Oceana is really delightful and it must be one of the most relaxing albums I have ever heard as well. Sadly, too much of Vangelis' music is often overlooked. I'm not really sure why that is, this is beautiful music. It begins with sounds of the ocean with "Bon Voyage". What makes this all the more majestic is the varied instrumentation, lovely violin, strings and harp. Following up is the pulsating "Siren's Whispering". It's one of the most atmospheric tunes, slightly eerie as well with the women's vocals and men's choir. Only Vangelis can produce sounds like these, combining electronic music with classical and exotic styles so effortlessly. Most of the pieces are very soothing and peaceful, above all the attractive "Islands Of The Orient" and "Fields Of Coral". This is one of my favourite works of the great composer's. There is no self-indulgence on this album which I found occasionally on some of his earlier works. This remains more noble and it is spiritually uplifting. It certainly deserves four solid stars.
Report this review (#765162)
Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | Review Permalink

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