Shelflife, in cooperation with Korda Records, presents the vinyl edition of Waterworks by The Ocean Blue, a reissue of the band's rare 2004 EP that has been remastered and expanded with three additional songs, two which have never been released before. The first 100 LP copies will be available on limited baby blue vinyl, exclusively on shelflife.com.
The Ocean Blue's major label releases (Sire/Warner Bros. and Mercury/Polygram) in the late 80's and 90's were chart toppers that garnished widespread acclaim, as well as radio and MTV airplay. In 2013, the band returned after a 10 year break with Ultramarine (Shelflife/Korda) which All Music hailed as "one of The Ocean Blue's best albums", and USA Today called "fresh but also sounds like beautiful, vintage Ocean Blue".
Waterworks is an eclectic mix of songs showcasing David Schelzel and Oed Ronne's keen ability to craft '60s-inspired pop-music. The EP also includes collaborations with some of the band's friends, including Jim Ruiz and Allen Clapp.
The EP opens with the dreamy, meditative, synth-driven "Fast Forward Reverse." The band has offered instrumental tracks on albums in the past, but none quite as easily reflective as "Fast Forward Reverse." The first vocal piece is the mysterious "Pedestrian," with its predominant drum loop. Schelzel's intriguing lyricism and clean, youthful voice have not faded over the last two decades; if anything, they've improved. With echoing, swirling guitars courtesy of his and Oed Ronne's playing, Schelzel sings: "I saw you last night / Alone in your car / It wasn't quite right / Your headlights were out / I woke up today / I had to find out / If all was OK / But your phone line was out / If you don't come quickly / If you don't come to / I'll be gone."
The band's tribute to San Francisco, "Golden Gate," sounds like a lost classic from the late 60s, with its gentle instrumentation and prominent "la la la's." The band, along with guests Clapp and Ruiz, are especially effective in creating the sun-drenched, stunning Beach Boys-like harmonies on "Golden Gate."
Ronne, who joined as an official, full guitarist of The Ocean Blue in 1996, contributes lead vocal performances on two songs he wrote, first on the gorgeous, spacious "Ticket to Wyoming." This song is so rich in optimism and love for life that even full-time sour pusses won't be able to resist its charm. Ronne brims with joy as he sings: "I know your daddy didn't like me / He said I wasn't up to any good / So I high-tailed it to Wyoming 'cause I could / 'Cause out here the air is very clear / And the mornin' dew will see you through the day / A sky so wide you can leave your past behind / And lose yourself, and even change your name." Ronne's second turn as lead singer is with his song "Sunshower." It's perfect pop, with Orange Juice / Johnny Marr jangle guitars and classic P!O!P! roots, making it one of Shelflife's top-10 favorite Ocean Blue songs ever!
The album's longest track is the mesmerizing instrumental "The Northern Jetstream." Dominated by Bobby Mittan's brilliant bass playing and the band's electronic experimentation with 70s synthesizer motifs, the song floats on for over seven minutes with guitars, hand claps, and uttered vocal "do do de do's" to hypnotic, enjoyable effect.
Waterworks is now expanded to include three bonus tracks -- the first two were written around the same time period, but were never finished or properly released until now. "Golden Girl" is a lovely soft pop track that sounds like a lost gem from the Cerulean days and "Can't Let Go" is a driving pop song that could have been a single in its own right. The album concludes with the beautiful, soulful cover of Rick Nelson's "Take a Broken Heart," with Ronne again taking on vocal duties.
The Ocean Blue will be on tour to support the release during the fall of 2014, including dates in Los Angeles, New York, Wilmington, Washington DC, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
The Ocean Blue
Catalogue number: LIFE115
Pressing: limited baby blue and black vinyl .
Artwork by: Matthew Taylor
1. Fast Forward Reverse
3. Golden Gate
4. Ticket To Wyoming
6. The Northern Jetstream
7. Golden Girl
8. Can't Let Go
9. Take A Broken Heart
ON THE WEB:
Cover art hi-res
color | b/w