Kings And Queens/Knaves And Thieves

The Ocean Blue

Korda Records, 2019

http://www.theoceanblue.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/05/2019

The Ocean Blue is one of my all-time favorite college discoveries. I got into them about 15 years after their debut came out and I was hooked. 15 years after that discovery, the band has released their seventh full-length disc and their first in six years. I have to say, I was quite disappointed by this release. The opening track “Kings And Queens” is a bit of a downer but is a great way to kick this record off. It grabs the listener’s ear and doesn’t let go, just like all the classic Ocean Blue tracks of yesterday. There’s an interesting duet on “Love Doesn’t Make It Easy,” but the song just feels bland uninteresting.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“It Takes So Long” is a decent track, though it sounds like it was recorded in a dingy basement. Sounding a bit like a demo, it never reaches the heights it needs to hit. This band has always some really deep, dreamy sort of production, so for it to sound so thin was almost upsetting to me. “Therein Lies The Problem With My Life” is an okay song, but it just feels like the title line is repeated ad nauseum. The band is much better than that. This is just a so-so record that is way more of a letdown than I was anticipating.

About the only other great track here is “Paraguay My Love,” which sounds like Ocean Blue of old. A song of love to a country that always supported the band, it’s sweet, eloquent, peaceful, and refreshing. Unfortunately, on the other side of the spectrum, “Frozen” starts off with some lovely piano but doesn’t really offer much else. I was really hoping for something beautiful and majestic and didn’t really get it.

“9PM Direction” has some really good keyboards, always a staple of the band’s greatest music and it helps to make the song livelier and a good step in the right direction. The band amps up the heaviness of the disc with “Step Into The Light” and it’s an average song but the production again sounds like it came out of a basement, which that takes away some of the interest.

In the end, this was just not worth the wait and is probably the most disappointing disc the band have made in 20 years.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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