A simple smile can change a day,
an understanding look can say
I know exactly how you feel.
But we have learned to build our walls,
so very strong and very tall,
for fear of what the world might steal. – If I could fly
The above are the kind of gems you’re likely to come across in Oceanlab’s latest album, Sirens of the Sea. Although their single tracks have been floating around about the Trance scenes world wide, like the self titled – Sirens of the Sea; it came to me as a surprise that this was going to be a melodic set at its core. For starters Oceanlab is a spin off from Above and Beyond which includes a female vocalist (Justine Suissa – former Chicane member) and three A&B members.
Plugging it in for the first time it almost seemed non trance. The first song was too slow and without a proper base line. Then again it could be excused for an intro. However once I got to …
Take my hand, take my hand yeah take my hand
Follow me, follow me yeah let’s go – Sirens of the Sea
…things started to kick in. The title track sets the tone. The beats are mellow but as apt as ever and the lyrics play magic with the track. The thing with trance tracks, which I love most, is the fact that the music plays the bigger part over the lyrics of the track; whereas in any normal song, the lyrics are generally more focused.
Yet later down the line, Oceanlab completely breaks off the pack and goes onto create the likes of which can be compared to Enigma and the types. No systematic baseline and a few lyric heavy songs of which the chorus’ became the heart and the verses become the soul.
And it’s too easy
To turn a blind eye to the light,
And it’s too easy
to bow your head and pray. – Miracle
At first listen I didn’t really bother, but once you take another dip, the realisation dawns that this isn’t about the whole 160BPM crescendo and the ecstatic fall and then the profound pull up follow through. It’s about the trance that the lyrical depth and the dangerously sultry voice is able to trap your mind in. It was trance a-new for me and it did require some thinking, but I loved the use of guitar and piano in many tracks, a trend soon starting to catch up and Oceanlab only making the point more obvious.
Then again it doesnt leave you with something you did not need. The tracks mainly keep to the melodic theme yet the baselines are back in business, and some very awesome performances and thrills can be experienced in tracks like; Come Home; On a Good Day; I am what I am, etc. Infact there are even Japanese and Korean influences in songs such as If I could fly.
And even though I may return
To empty spaces on my own,
But I remember everything that you want me to forget. – Breaking Ties
Moreover, the tracks are only 3-4 minutes long which sounds less for a trance track but it packs a wonderful punch, so you never lose focus of the song yet you want some more. This artsy nature will keep you coming back to the songs again and again. And that alone should vouch for the fact that this is one of the better trance albums out there if ‘deep house’ is not your cake.