- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Feb
- Still Life
- Just Glide
- You Are
- Everything Is
My respect for Credential Recordings (a subsidiary of EMI) grows with each release, as they consistently introduce us to new bands that have distinct sounds, rooted in alternative pop/rock styles current with today's mainstream music scene. The same holds true for Lost Ocean, a young quartet from Bakersfield, California that has been described as Supertramp meets Mew. They're actually closer to a band like Mae, combining the pop sensibilities of Keane with creative soundscapes reminiscent of Radiohead and Coldplay.
However you choose to peg them, their self-titled national debut offers a gorgeous fusion of piano pop with indie rock sensibilities. "Still Life" is as good an example as any, relying on a beautifully piano-driven sound, only to unleash some scorching guitar further in. Both "Dreams" and the lead single "Just Glide" manage to deftly balance a dancing piano riff with guitar ambience and pounding rhythms. And the closer "Vast" is as majestic as the best from Coldplay. This is a band that clearly understands what they are, and more importantly, stands out from others that sound alike through their skillful merits.
Lost Ocean also has the distinction of being the subtlest on Credential when it comes to spiritual lyricism—sometimes frustratingly so. "Dreams" is particularly abstract in expression, and the relational song "You Are" vaguely comforts a friend (a line like "You can make it, but you just can't make it" is somehow relatable-yet-empty in its contradiction). But there are also songs that do point to the band's faith. "Mute" relishes the quiet times when we shut out the world to listen for that still small voice, "Lights" touches on mankind's inherent need for the divine, and "Vast" expresses humble awe over God's greatness ("You are the first and last, and I can't compare to that").
For Lost Ocean, this album represents a terrific start to a hopefully distinguished career. For Credential, it's par for the course, continuing to offer artists who are artful in expressing their Christianity.