THIS OCEANIC FEELING – Universal Mind (2015)
THIS OCEANIC FEELING is a new Rock&pop / Prog supergroup fronted by singer, songwriter and producer Chris Braide who was a founding member of The Producers (with former Yes man Trevor Horn) – the combo who delivered us a great album some time ago – and a very recommended solo record last year (both featured here on the blog).
The lineup is completed by bassist Lee Pomeroy (Rick Wakeman) and The Producers’ drummer Ash Sloan (also Billy Idol band).
This Oceanic Feeling will release their debut album “Universal Mind” on July 17, through Cherry Red Records.
While rock&pop and prog still may seem like strange bedfellows, there are people who bestride this deceptive rift – people such as talented Chris Braide. The guy co-wrote songs for the likes of Christina Aguilera, yet released an album with Geoff Downes (Downes Braide Association), so he knows what it’s all about.
“Universal Mind” is a melodious treat from start to finish.
The compositions are big in arrangements, shiny, with delicious power-pop melodies blended with rock trousers on and occasionally proggy colors. However, this is not Neo-Prog.
Think ‘90125’-era Yes mixed with the late The Police, and of course, if you have listened The Producers, there’s a lot of them as well.
After his solo album and living in the US for a while, Braide returned to UK and on linking up again with Sloan, they found their old chemistry in The Producers was still there. The idea of forming a new band immediately took shape.
The muse was swiftly awakened and an album’s worth of new songs came into life, the lyrics tasked to face the unresolved dualism between fake and real self and their eternal fight for dominance. On inviting Lee Pomeroy to join them their distinctive creative venture solidified further and This Oceanic Feeling was born.
“Universal Mind” has a distinctive British feel, but also has a transatlantic modern flavour to it.
This sound is a combination of the three individuals varied backgrounds. Chris Braide is renowned for producing and writing songs pop stars such as Beyonce, Lana del Rey or Christina Aguilera, and recently producing and co-writing Marc Almond’s new album. Drummer Ash Soan’s diverse pedigree includes playing with the likes of Adele, Cher, Dido, or on Billy Idol’s latest album, while Lee Pomeroy has worked with some of the longtime established greats (ELO, Rick Wakeman, It Bites, last year touring with Steve Hackett on the 2014 Genesis Revisited Tour).
A diverse range of music to say the least, but each at the top of their individual games.
We find juicy light proggy numbers on “Lie Detector”, the uplifting title track “Universal Mind” or the atmospheric “Wake Up”, balanced by more rock&pop tracks like the moving “Logotherapy” (very 90125 and one of my favorites), the expansive “Johnny Tragic” or the beautiful “Season Of Light”.
Most the songs are upbeat and with a positive vibe, bright melodies and smooth vocals by Braide.
This Oceanic Feeling’s debut “Universal Mind” is varied, artsy, melodic and very, very enjoyable all over. There are more musical ideas here than most performers can manage on half a dozen albums, and these skillful talented musicians have the ability to put them together wonderfully.
This CD rewards repeated plays because you won’t pick out everything on the first listen. It’s absolutely crammed with great widescreen melodies and musicianship while using the standard songwriting themes that we all know and love, and easy to the ear arrangements.
Waves of approval for… This Oceanic Feeling.
01 – Lie Detector
02 – Put Down The Gun
03 – Radio
04 – Logotherapy
05 – Universal Mind
06 – Intensive Care
07 – Wake Up
08 – I Play Debussey
09 – Johnny Tragic
10 – Karma Camera
11 – Season Of Light
12 – Finale
Chris Braide – vocals, guitar, keyboards
Lee Pomeroy – guitar, bass, backing vocals
Ash Sloan – drums, percussion