You'll never guess what I JUST got.
Okay, it's pretty obvious, but for those who doesn't know just yet, Ocean of Fire's latest album - entitled "Destination" is out.
I got it through Kelvyn Yeang thanks to a planned Left 4 Dead / DoTA session by Choo Shen Way.
And I couldn't stop noticing the album cover, because the previous released album had all sorts of things in it that carries how Kelvyn would design something.
I'm not sure what you call that sort of designing, but it's that sort of a design.
For a change, they did this:
Which is awesome.
Which is an understatement because Kelvyn said that this inlay was done via Corel Paintdraw (I forgot the name, but hell, I remember using it when my mum's office computers were running on Windows 3.II!!) with mouseclicks. Mad respect to the one who did the cover; Damien Wu.
Also, the inlay looks like as if Kelvyn brought out his inner child and scribbled all over the descriptions of each track. I had a good laugh by reading it.
Now, with this warm theme-based cover, which is a new look for the band, would it carry a different sound for their composition as well?
The answer is going to be straightforward. It's a yes.
And I'm happy listening to this album if I were to compare it to their previous project, which was also a good attempt - An Instrumental Rockfunkjazzynotsometal Project. But like wine, as they age, they produce a better taste, flavour, and ideas for music.
This album consists of a total fo 12 tracks, which I also think is averagly priced for a CD.
I'm listening to the 4th track - There's a Heaven Above Us, which still has my ears on its edge, as I could've sworn that I heard something flashy done by tapping all sort of notes on the guitar fretboard. This 4th track of the album, starts with a Fusion-based genre, but gets everywhere after quite a bit.
I remember watching Ocean of Fire during my young-guitar age days, and they were just being..themselves.
Now, it's 2009 (or 2010 as stated on the album), they still sound like themselves. You'll know Jonathan Scully is bashing every single thing he sees on the drum kit, Jonathan Chen poppin' and slappin' to the bass, Chiat doing the harmonies and supportive chords to Kelvyn where he'll be running his fingers all over the fret board. If he could successfully used his 8 fingers and 2 thumbs to tap on the fretboard, I'm sure he would've done such possibilities to perfect it.
As I'm writing this, I must say that after 8 years, they have made great progress together as a band, searching for a mind-blowing, ear-orgasmic brilliant sound to suit the theme of songs that they're writing to accompany the titles of the songs.
As some of you know, idolised shred music would be based on guitars with sustain bummed out to the maximum, feedback during pauses of the song, and there'll be a lot of fanciful finger works. But this all stopped when the 6th track, Kawan-Kawan, kicked in. Soothing rhythm lines, low-sustained lead guitars, and plenty of feel. I wouldn't say that Kelvyn did everything by himself, because I believe that good sound is achieved by the support that he has in the music - the drums doing the right rhythm, the rhythm guitarist doing the right chord and strumming pattern, with plenty of soulful basslines.
It's a perfect mix of everything. Something to relax to, something to feel, and to go on a wonderful destination with.
I can see myself driving on the highway with this album being played in the CD player.
I am still surprised with how they have matured in terms of ideas, and playing styles. It's a great all-rounder sort of album instead of your usual shred album.
And as stated in the album; "Having no guidelines or a standardised approach to writing music occasionally gives OOF a rather sporadic sound." Written to, would be; "In some songs, the solos are prewritten. On others, we improvised. And sometimes, on inspiration-fuelled moment flashed through the glitches, and mistakes evolved into new, exciting ideas".
Which I find truly unique. Did you know that there was one part of the guitar solo in Mr. Big's "To Be With You" was done because it was a mistake? Because it being a mistake, it gave the solo a much more bigger personality and a different feel instead of the usual predictable stuff.
I must say that this is entirely a different approach done by these 4 great lads. This time, they invested a little bit more in achieving such tone quality, so they're providing you proper value for your RM25. With great help from JD in mixing the songs, and the almighty Nick Lee for doing the album mastering, they have captured the oddest harmony of what they love singing through their instruments.
Also, extra credit goes out to those who has helped them in doing the album, such as:
Graphic layout: Tsu Lim and Schizzow.
Photography: Jeannie Lee & Shankar Laxminarayanan
And I still think that whoever did the album cover is one brilliant genius. Corel Paintdraw.. With a mouse? That's like shredding the guitar with your teeth. Not picking; but shredding. With your teeth.
Overall, I am in love with music by listening to these great musicians evolving and giving in a lot of matured tone and ideas.
Great job, guys!
By reading the inlay, it'll teach me to be a proper musician and to be a better person to be conscious of what's around us; accepting different music when music is truly a beautiful language to sing, to write, and to play.
Ooh! Seashell Song's the next item on my playlist! Heee.
Edit: My God, they gave it a bloody facelift!!