Andy John Bradford’s Oceans 5 ~ Return To Mingulay
Normally when one thinks of a genre and decides to waffle over a sub-genre for an album… they will eventually pigeon hole it somewhere. That is how many minds work. Those who do suffer from genre overload will be happy to know that there is no genre for the album. Give it a good listen and I think you will agree.
Return to Mingulay is accessible to all ages and audiences. It can be listened to anywhere and with anyone. Whether it is with three generations of family around the fire or in your car while driving to work. Every track is a pleasure to listen to and there is no need to listen to every track in order as is often the case in “prog” releases.
Andy John Bradford’s Oceans 5 is the brainchild of AJB who has surrounded himself with like minded and goodhearted musicians who have each added their own flavor to the mix. This is not your average band. Special guests musicians such as Lorelei McBroom of Australian Pink Floyd and Andres Guazzelli add even more to this great mix. Colin Tench of Corvus Stone/BunChakeze/CTP, Marco Chiapinni of Gandalf’s project, Stef Fleming of Murky Red and Victor Tassone of Unified past are all brilliant in their own right. Remarkably I find this new band sounds nothing like any of the others. Yes, we may know it is Andy’s voice and not Lorelei’s and we may say “hmmm that is a Colin Tench riff there”, but none of the tracks sound like anything I have heard from any of the above mentioned artists/bands.
There is no way to explain the likability factor of this album even to myself. Something just sticks and you wake up with it in your head and before you know it you’re singing it in the shower. It’s happened to me and sometimes I shake my head and say “this can’t be happening”. I suspect subliminal messages. 6000 Friends should be a released as a single if it hasn’t already in this reviewers humble opinion; however, each song on “Return to Mingulay” stands alone so there is the possibility that some single releases may be warranted. The flow of the album is amazing if you enjoy listening to something in it’s entirety as I do.
Sonia Mota (aka Oceans 6th) created the spectacular Album Cover Artwork. The knowledge of Mingulay combined with her knowledge of music / history create a vivid accompaniment to the music. The ship moving towards what seems it’s inevitable end. Their shining countenances from on high saying… ” HA,,, Not this time! ” Make time to take a good look at the art whilst listening. There is much more than than meets the eye on first take. Here is where I feel comfortable using the word “prog”. The depth and meaning of the art is remincent of many classic “prog” albums because it allows the viewer/listener to decide for themselves what means what.
Discussing each tracks individual nuances or going on about my opinions of what sounds like this group and so on seems counterproductive. Instead I’d like to simply suggest that you just enjoy the music and art and take away from it your feelings and thoughts. That is why these great people got together and made this masterpiece. They certainly didn’t do it because they wanted to send a message to the world or make money. They did it for all of us and for the love of music and the arts. The soulfulness is clear once you decide to listen and not just hear.
Sea shanty music this is not. Songs that will stand the test of time and harmonies that will make your spine tingle are in your near future…..