on 30 April 2007
When I first listened to this, the first track "I Told You So" seemed very simple and almost early Beatles in its sound. However, when I played the next 5 tracks I realised what a class album and a class act OCS are. The songs are so well written, coupled with Fowlers superb lyrics each song takes on its own meaning and intensity, inturn each compliment eachother. Each time I listened another track stood out. "Go To The Sea" has to be the one which stands out just slighty from the others with some great lines a heavy bass and suberb rifts by Cradock. But each time you listen you have a new favourite. "For Dancers only" is a great song and is written by Paul Weller, the band make it their own but you can hear Wellers' influence. After playing the first track a few times it is indeed catchy and you find yourself liking it more every time, complemented by tracks 2-6. It is an album of 2 halves. From 7 to 13 brings you down with more ballad songs and thats where Simon Fowler comes into his own, 9 "Don't Get Me" is fantastic. Each one of these songs has its a different appeal. The Album is overall great but at around 40 mins long is a tad too short. It leaves you wanting more. Ocean Colour have never been ones to conform with the rest and are much more than the britpop label that they got in the 90's. I can't help but think that if Ocean were one of the media "in" bands, then this album would be at the top of the charts for a long time. It is that good anyway, it just might be. Highly Recommend.
on 19 May 2007
This is a very good album of pop-rock songs. Ocean Colour Scene has grown. Steve Cradock (I insist) is one of the best british guitarists right now. "Go To Sea" is among the highlights of this record and it reminds us all that rock and roll music and guitar playing are one for the other.
The influences and the style are clear. Calling them retro is meaningless at a time when bands like The Kings of Leon, Jet or The Strokes enjoy some success with a sound that's far from being new. The important thing is to deliver good songs, and Ocean Colour Scene knows how to make them. Maybe this is an advantage of being the non-favourites of the critics and count with their own record label, so they have all the freedom to play what they (and us) like.
"You'll Never Find Me" (a song that reminds me of "I'll Follow The Sun" from THE BEATLES FOR SALE) or "Don't Get Me", which features Simon Fowler's harmonica and the sing-along catchy melodie are going to be part of the classics by the band that delivered us "This Day Should Last Forever", "Foxy's Folk Faced" or "The Day We Caught The Train".
"Lonliest Girl In The Whole Wide World" could've been written as a B-Side for the MOSELEY SHOALS singles, just like "Huckleberry Grove" was. Another favourite is "These Days I'm Tired", an acoustic song with touches of the early 70's progressive songs with a melancholic sound.
The bassist Dan Sealey and the other guitarist, Andy Bennett finally receive their opportunity for being part of the recording of this whole new studio album. Sealey also makes his debut as a songwriter with "Man In The Middle" and the result is a good guitar-based song. Maybe the new blood of Ocean Colour Scene will lead the band to a new big time.
So I can say that ON THE LEYLINE surpassed my own expectations. It's a better album than AN HYPERACTIVE WORKOUT... or NORTH ATLANTIC DRIFT. It was ten years ago when MARCHIN' ALREADY went on to knock down Oasis from the # 1 in the charts; and this is what I see, a band marchin' already good again!...a quality album, buy it!
on 2 April 2007
Ocean Colour Scene have been around for over a decade and have now produced 9 studio albums.
Their latest offering is fantasic. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
From the first to the last track, you will know that this is a 'complete' record and a record that you will not be able to put down easily.
1.Production - First class production, you have to play this record loud.
2.Lyrics - Deep, meaningful and very relevant. 'Go To Sea Boy' and 'I Just Got Over You' are back to the classic days of 'Riverboat' and 'Trains'.
3.Melody - Heavy guitar at it's best. Steve Cradock plays how we all know that he can - highlights are 'On The Leyline Waiting and 'I Told You So'.
You will not be disappointed if you buy this album. A must for all fans and newcomers.
This will go down as one of their very best albums.
on 10 May 2007
I have been an Ocean colour scene fan since they first started their career, and although an ardent fan, sometimes felt that after Mosely Shoals & One from the Modern albums, a lot of there tracks seemed to be the same. This album is different, in places a bit rocky and reminding me of the early Jam and Mod revival bands of the eighties. And then songs with harmonies like the Beatles and Beach Boys mixed into the more mid tempo tracks. Unlike the other reviews i am not going to give a view of each track, but this album is excellent, For Dancers Only being my favourite track. Nuff Said this is a very good OCS album. If you only like the Riverboat era then you will definately like this.
on 10 August 2009
I don't have much to add to the positive reviews here but I did want to register my rating for this album, which is really good. I once read a review of Ocean Colour Scene during the height of Oasismania, when wearing your influences on your sleeve was the thing. There was, for no obvious reason, a bit of needle for Ocean Colour Scene in certain parts of the music press. Whilst Oasis, and other designated "cool" bands were being cheered for their retro/nostalgia approach, OCS were condemned for referencing the "wrong" influences. This band has had to contend with the sort of hostile press that Yoko Ono would recognise. They are a a solid rock band who have produced some brilliant albums and are a fantastic live act; this is a great album.
on 5 March 2012
Never has Ocean Colour Scene sounded more direct, together, and in control of your listening experience. After touring for several years with the superior (in my opinion) 5-piece line up they have finally recorded an album together, and what what a well-oiled machine they are.
The first song "I Told You So" is simple, 60s-style, uplifting. Flawless performance, full of life and tongue in cheek, it will brighten your day.
"On The Leyline, Waiting" is my favourite track on the album. It has so much anger and attitude while still tight and leaving you wanting more. Steve Cradock's guitar riff is dirty and passionate, vocals are great especially the harmonies on the chorus, and the staccato ending is inspired, the band slamming the track into history and leaving me, as a listener, slack jawed at what just happened in the last 3 minutes.
"Man In The Middle" is dynamic, flowing from an acoustic verse to an explosive chorus. The new bassist Dan Sealey, who wrote the song, has an excellent voice and sounds like he was born to be in OCS. The group's front man Simon Fowler seems even more inspired by the addition of Sealey and has upped his own game, his vocal delivery nicely clipped and youthful, and as biting any of his performances on their early records. I almost find this track too heavy, the guitar shredding is undisciplined and makes for stressful listening, but it's exciting and not holding back in any way, which makes it great artistically.
"I Just Got Over You" is one of the most complex melodies and great songs on the album - I first heard it live and couldn't get it out of my head. Just when you think the record is over it breaks into a sublime reprise ending with a descending bass line. As if to say "we're not done yet, we're loving this song and want to make a statement." Just like the ending of "On The Leyline, Waiting", it is these touches that remind you what a class act OCS are.
"For Dancers Only" is a solid performance of a Paul Weller song, with evocative lyrics, good melody and driving beat. Though it goes on a little too long and the sound is a little bit too safe for my liking.
The flagship song is "Go To Sea". This is possibly the heaviest song the band have ever recorded and one of their best. It may be epic in its vision and sound, but it is also very gritty and grounded. It sounds like it was recorded live with no-frills production (except a few vocal effects). This is a song no other band would think of. It has about 3 different guitar riffs, all of them catchy and integral to the song's character, and the solo is a "heart on sleeve" fret-fest. Just like in the live show, and throughout the whole album, new guitarist Andy Bennett holds the rhythm and lets Steve Cradock shine. It's good to know Bennett is there - even though Cradock is the king of the overdub, now we are listening to the creative interplay of two guitarists focusing on the purity of their individual parts. What transforms this song into greatness and makes it an all time classic is the drums. That is some brutal drum work from Oscar Harrison, a man who puts life into every OCS song and employs every style, but here the skins are nearly coming off those drum heads and the use of cymbals is explosive. Wonderful.
The second half of the album is a wind-down from the high octane first half. "Loneliest Girl" is again very Beatlesque, I overplayed this because I liked it so much. Cradock's acoustic song "These Days I'm Tired" is beautifully done with clean, bluesy guitar work, a sign of things to come on his excellent solo albums. "Don't Get Me" is the best of the whimsical songs, and the middle 8 with Fowler, Cradock and Harrison harmonizing in their unique smoky way was a real lift and reminder of the old sound and history of this amazing band. "Mr Brown" and "Two Lovers" sound a bit like B sides with lightweight production and not much substance, but they are fun. "Daylight" has good production but I think this album deserved a better closing track. Despite this I'm giving this album 5 stars for its creativity. Inspired songs and ideas, coupled with the sheer soul of this group of musicians, means this is just another volume of great music from the best band out there.
on 8 July 2008
This record was put out in April 2007 and for me, has to be their 3rd best album after Moseley Shoals and NAD. I was fortunate enough to meet the band at their album launch last year and they are fantastic lads. This album for me will be played in 20 years time and songs like, Go to Sea, Mr Brown, Man in the Middle and the title track will still sound fantastic. This band are the most underrated in Great Britain but should be given a chance by anybody who appreciates real music. This is a cracking album. They are also the finest live band I have seen and having been together for 19 years, they certainly deserve some recognition.
Firstly, I would like to say that I am a huge Ocean Colour Scene fan, and they are one of my all time favourite bands. But I'm afraid here is where I draw the line. This album is uninspired and quite boring. There are no songs on here which would have been a single off any previous OCS album except maybe their self titled debut. The lead single I Told You So is the only one which provides any sort of break to this, but to be honest it is almost as far from The Circle as a Girls Aloud single.
It is still Ocean Colour Scene and so is a relaxing listen, but there is nothing on here to inspire any emotional impact or musical excitement.
If you are interested in Ocean Colour Scene, you may want this to complete a collection, but otherwise look to any of their previous albums and not here.