I was out shopping for music one day in a large music store, and I came across an album by OceanLab. Now, the only track I'd EVER heard by them was a hard dance remix of 'Clear Blue Water' on the Frantic 2002 album, which I hadn't listened to for years. It was a fiver, so I thought, 'Sod it, I'll buy it!' and it has turned out to be one of the most 'value for money' purchases I've ever made! Every track on this album is produced to the highest standard, with lyrics that are poetic, haunting and beautiful. Lyrics that most big label stars would dream of having printed in their album inserts. This album is a revelation for me. Subtle rhythms, some trance beats come into play here too, it's not just chill-out. The worst thing that people (including other reviewers) can do is compare it to OceanLab's previous work, honestly, WHO CARES? Listen to the album as a stand-alone piece. Put it in the CD player, crank it up, sit back and prepare to be transported on a vibrant, tranquil journey that will give you goosebumps. Stand-out tracks for me are 'Miracle', with it's drifting synths, and beautiful lyrics, and 'On A Good Day', which is more trance-based, but is still an incredibly uplifting piece of dance music, with vocals to die for, chord changes that give me chills and an overall great vibe. Seriously, if you see this album anywhere, for a fiver, or even a tenner, buy it, you'll be glad you did! Sheer genius!
Justine Suissa has the most beautiful voice and by teaming up with Above & Beyond they have created a masterful album. Every track on this album has something unique and interesting about it and I've yet to play it to any of my friends without them all asking when it will be out and when they can buy a copy as they love it so much!
The album reminds me of Zero 7 and Everything but the Girl and I can see it doing down as another seriously important cross over album for the dance scene.
"Sirens Of The Sea: Ocean Lab" is a great mix of chillout and trance beats. The tracks invoke a calming vibe. "Just Listen" and "I Am What I Am" are two of the songs that I like in this collection. "Sirens Of The Sea: OceanLab" is great for those who enjoy trance/chillout compilations.
Bought the cd for my boyfriend and both of us loved it! Real chill out music, a bit dancy at times. Music that you can listen to at any time (while studying, driving the car, background music during dinner, while sitting in your room etc) and you don't get bored of. Good bargain!
Everyone is entitled to their musical opinion, obviously, but I for one am glad that this is dissimilar to Above & Beyond's more upfront style.
It is an album that is fundamentally a showcase for the magical Justine Suissa's lyrics and vocals, and in that respect I would say that it is more feminine and reflective than the usual banging dance collection. Like any work that is subtle and multilayered, it rewards repeated listening as the songs worm their way into your subconscious and new levels of depth and meaning are revealed.
Her input is vital in regard to the album's intent and identity, she's not just a guest vocalist that's been parachuted in, but an integral and important collaborator that contributes and shapes the finished piece of work.
And it is a wonderfully coherent and realised project, that shows that dance music can engage the brain and emotions as well as the body. "Sirens Of The Sea", as a track, is one of the most emotional and moving dance songs I've heard since "Need To Feel Loved" by Reflekt.
To me, it's no surprise that dance artists invariably move away from just putting out pumping instrumentals for clubs, and move more towards more rounded songwriting with female vocalists. The juxtaposition between hard, harsh beats and soft female vocals is a fantastic combination of light and shade.
There are plenty of club collections out there if your taste is that way inclined. And it could be argued that Above & Beyond are aware of this by putting out the much more in-your-face, "Sirens Of The Sea Remixed" compilation. I like both pretty much equally but for different reasons, this album is definitely worth hearing (and owning) in its own right.
Above & Beyond are firmly establishing themselves as top quality mixers and producers of modern day trance music, and with it, diversifying under their varying aliases. This time we see the return of OceanLab, and the wonderful vocals of Justine Suissa, who is a trance Goddess in this day and age! However, this album is not just about trance - far from it. I believe the success of this album lies in the chilled ambient efforts we get, namely Miracle, Ashes and I Am What I Am. These and a couple of others are sublime, relaxing and as uplifting as you can get in electronic music. They are wonderfully crafted efforts, capturing the sunrise that we in England can only dream about. They float you away into another place, as I believe is the intention. However, if you are expecting OceanLab to have contiuned with their progressive trance and powerful basslines that we heard back in 2004, mainly with the excellent Satellite, then prepare to be disheartened. Whilst about half of their songs are still 'trance,' to me, they lack that bite that Satellite did, and that many other A&B songs do. They are a little inspid, although still quite good and very much worth a listen. I think they could have solely focussed on the ambient side of their music, which works so well. A&B deal with the uplifting trance these days, and to me Satellite is more A&B style than the new OceanLab. Just a warning. But overall another excellent album from an group of producers who are bringing certain areas of electronic music to the fore in 2008.