MICHAEL OAKLEY – Odyssey (2021) *0dayrox EXCLUSIVE*

MICHAEL OAKLEY - Odyssey (2021) *EXCLUSIVE* full

Take a look at this neon-filled cover artwork… yes MICHAEL OAKLEY‘s new album “Odyssey” is retro-Eighties stuff. And the kind we like it. While this Scottish started as a synthwave artist years ago composing various soundtracks, for “Odyssey” Oakley changed completely the focus.
Being an accomplished vocalist as well, “Odyssey” is ‘song-format’ album with melodic, poppy songs, complete instrumentation – there’s 4 electric guitarists, and a couple of guest lead singers to provide variation – and that sound that takes you back to the ’80s but also the ’90s.

”Odyssey” starts off with the title track, the shot an only instrumental song here, of course, with lots of synths creating the atmosphere for the music to come.
‘Wake Up’ springs into life and if synthwave had it’s very own classic soft rock sound then this would be the anthem to that make the place go crazy. ‘Is There Anybody Of There’ is a mighty track that belongs on the airwaves and blasted through the speakers.
Then ‘Babylon’ has a more progressive / pop (if that exists) approach with bagpipes and saxophones having their moments during the song.

‘Glasgow Song’ is a nice ballad homage to the Scottish city itself with Dana Jean Phoenix providing her vocal talents on the very ’80s chorus. ‘Queen of Hearts’ is ridiculously catchy and has Ollie Wride and Dana Jean Phoenix on backing vocals, a sure winner on the radio if there was 1990 out there.
‘When Stars Collide’ has a similar lovable drum beat like the intro to Africa by Toto, then movie-like ballad ‘Now I’m Alive’ would have graced the end titles of any 1987 comedy / romantic film.

Some artists have a comfort zone of releasing songs in the same style, but it’s great that Oakley doesn’t do that. Whilst the synthwave touches are still there, “Odyssey” feels completely fresh – this is a retro pop album as they don’t make anymore. And read well: not rock&pop, this is pure pop, but so darn well made.
The songwriting, production and musicianship is fantastic for an album recorded 2021 trying to emulate that big budget 1986-1992 major production. And Oakley succeeds.
Highly Recommended

Only at 0dayrox


01 – Odyssey
02 – Wake Up! [lead vocals Ollie Wride]
03 – Is There Anybody out There (Jon Campbell Radio Edit)
04 – Babylon
05 – Glasgow Song [lead vocals Dana Jean Phoenix]
06 – Real Life
07 – Queen of Hearts
08 – When Stars Collide
09 – Now I’m Alive [vocal duet with Dana Jean Phoenix]
10 – Control
11 – Is There Anybody out There (It Was the 90s Mix)

Michael Oakley: lead vocals, synths, drum programming
Ollie Wride: lead vocal (track 2), background vocals
Dana Jean Phoenix: lead vocal (track 5), background vocals
Hayley Stewart: background vocals
John Jagos: guitar, synths, percussion, additional vocals
Derek Elliotson, Chris Huggett: guitars
John Kunkel: guitars (track 2, 7)
Tommy Phillips: guitars (track 1)
Jesse Molloy: saxophone (track 4, 6)
Lorne MacDougall: bagpipes (track 5)



1 Response

  1. Neil Tudor says:

    this is why I subscribe to zero day!! I love my classic AOR etc..but I always love genre mash ups….. and the new Synth wave stuff is awesome……. its basically classy AOR…… The Midnight, Timecop and Michael are producing great stuff….. top notch production too….keep it coming Zero Day rock!!!! I would urge people to please subscribe..this is the best AOR Rock channel on the web!!

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