As I was driving south and listening to Ocean Rain more attentively, if that is even possible, I reminded myself of how good things get better with time. Like good wine. Ocean Rain gets better with every listen. The album comes crashing to our sensitive ears with the overwhelming first theme, that just fills you with enthusiasm. Perfect album to listen to if you are going to the beach, and have demanding ears.
Some of the most bitter critics of the mainstream pound of the usual have totally devastated this precious album. Some like to say that McCullochs lyrics are a downside to this album, placing them in an inferior platform as to the quite acclaimed musicality of the album. Some however, think the heaven-like atmosphere of the album is, unworthy.
Some pearls just go by unseen.
In Rolling Stone, for instance, they take a deep punch to the musicality of the album, “monochromatic dirge of banal existential imagery cloaked around the mere skeleton of a musical idea.”
To the wise-ass responsible for this review, may I ask if you had a brain stroke and then went on reviewing one of the most inspired post-punk ever made? That could serve as an excuse to your ignorance. Ocean Rain is not monochromatic, it’s you that is colorblind. It is probably the most colorful and album can get, without getting ridiculous. It has unbelievable darkness and undeniable brightness. I see Will Seargents cheerful chorus guitars around sunny yellows and gold, blissful violins evoke an ultramarine deepness of blue and black in the most dramatic songs and McCullochs dark lyrics are definitely dark shades of violet and of course, black. Powerfull confident, breathtaking at moments voice, one may say. That is, not to mention Pete de Freitas elegant drumming, brushing ll over the place, as silver.
The album has a lot of color and talks about it. Let me give it to you:
Is “Here am I whole at last with a golden view” in the enthusiastic Crystal Days not golden enough to you?”
Is “Nocturnal Me” not enough dark to you?
Not only does the envolving atmosphere change from contained brightness to the profound darkness, but McCullochs poems evoke a various number of colour references.
Under blue moon I saw you…
I’ve suprisingly read some reviews that are really violent about the lyrics like “tired juxtapositions of mysterious buzzwords, nonsense, and banality” someone said. Well, nonsense is either one of two things: a real nonsense or something you can’t understand. As opposed to genious indeed there is no limit to stupidity, Einstein said. And Ocean Rain in vulnerable and bright enough for some of the mainstreamers to listen to it, but it definitely does not stay there, in the superficial world where the Rolling Stone critics live in. Please, guys, you are over leagued here. Stick to The Strokes for everyone’s sake.
Where is the nonsense where he talks about love, companionship and understanding in the very preciously bright honest Crystal Days? A man, awaking from depression, puts all his fears aside and throws himself to love
Here am I, gold at last with a golden view, looking for hope and I hope it’s you
where he clearly specifies that his melancholic period has ceased and declares himself as with a new look to the world. Then he proceeds to acclaim his willingness to love, joy and companioship, not without a few references to some painful aspects, as well as to his own akwardness to the common.
Looking for a place where we can purify our misfit ways and magnify our crystal days.
I don’t see nonsense in here, maybe the critics haven’t really listened to the album, which is nothing surprising.
I won’t even go deep in The Killing moon, the quintessence creation that will immortalize the band forever where McCulloch describes with powerfull accuracy his lyrical own unwillingfull consumption in passion.
Up in your arms, too late to cancel it,
Though it must be the killing tide, unwillingly mine…
I rest my case with this song. There is just so much symbolism and preciousness to it, that some things better left unsaid. It is nothing lesser than a classic. One of the reasons why Nietzsche once said that without music, life would be a mistake.
It is hard to make an entire album about love and passion that succeeds to escape commonplace, but Echo and The Bunnymen gave that to you. Rihanna didn’t. McCullochs descriptions in Ocean Rain are always elegant. Even when he is actually talking about the sexual act, as in Nocturnal me. The sound of this album cannot be classified anywhere under genious, as every song in it from top to botton is a hymn to music in general and to dark pop in particular.
List goes on as to culminate at McCulluchs most refined and overwhelming poem not to be unmatched with music of Ocean Rain, the song that justly gave the name to the album.
All hands on deck at dawn
Sailing to sadder shores
Your port in my heavy storms
Harbours the blackest thoughts
Perfect album to listen driving on a sunny day and if you are lucky enough you might encounter the Atlantic Ocean, then your search for bliss has found its harbour, by the sea where the album starts and where it belongs.
I don’t keep up with the band anymore. There was definitely an end to the genius culminating with Pete de Freitas fatal motorbike crash. But they have given us enough, and deserve every bit and much more of the shortness of credit they had for this. Ocean Rain is the sublimation of post-punk and dark pop. A masterpiece.