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Oceans 5 - Return to Mingulay CD (album) cover


Oceans 5


Crossover Prog

3.93 | 139 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars For me, one of the more illuminating aspects of this "supergroup" release is learning that ROD STEWART/SUTHERLAND BROTHERS essentially ripped off the "Mingulay Boatsong" for one of his many mega hits, "Sailing". The meter and most of the melody of his arrangement is more than influenced by that 200 year old shanty.

I don't mean to diminish this enthusiastic release by implying that I'm otherwise unimpressed, but this is really singer songwriter folk with full rock backing and massed oft repeated choruses. Apart from Colin Tench's guitar style, at times, and the presence of a vocal member of AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD, I don't really get the FLOYD comparisons, but agree that fans of certain aspects of STRAWBS and JETHRO TULL might enjoy what's on offer here. The strummed acoustic guitar style, Andy John Bradford's vocal inflections, and the general song structures put me in mind of STRAWBS circa "Bursting at the Seams", but without its dark Goth side and, paradoxically, without its chart ready hits. The over busyness of some of the arrangements bring to mind TULL, but more the arty "War Child" style than "Heavy Horses". Other occasional points of comparison could be MOTT THE HOOPLE (on "Six Thousand Friends",Bradford goes "All the Young Dudes" on us) and RUNRIG, particularly their nautical proclivities. All to say that this is an enjoyable listen but far from challenging even in comparison to the less complex works of the aforementioned.

Probably the best tracks here are the Boat song itself and the heartfelt "5 O'Clock Line", but neither really awaken stirrings deep inside, and, while nothing is ghastly, the social commentary of "6 Thousand Friends" is a bit more simplistic and direct than even most folk singers might advise. So, "Return to Mingulay" is rounded up to 3 stars because admirers of the fusion of folk music and anthemic pop, or of Old Spice aftershave, might be rendered weak-kneed by its oceanicity.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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