DEREK SHERINIAN – Oceana (Accurate Rip)
Super keyboard player DEREK SHERINIAN is mostly known as one of the members of Dream Theater between 1994-99, but before that he was member of Planet X and played for Kiss, Billy Idol and Alice Cooper. Also as member of Black Country Communion with Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham, he became more familiar to a wider rock audience. But apart from his busy schedule, Derek always find time to record his own solo albums. On “Oceana“, Sherinian, as usual, has amassed a great set of musicians; the guitarists alone are all accomplished and masters of their craft.
Here’s the cats at the 6-strings; Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Tony MacAlpine, Dough Aldrich and Steve Stevens. What a line up!!
And that’s not all, on bass we find Jimmy Johnson and master Tony Franklin, while the drums are handled by virtuoso Simon Phillips (Toto) who also co-produced the disc.
The CD starts out with one of the best tunes Derek has ever written, titled “Five Elements”, actually co-wrote with drummer extraordinaire Simon Phillips. From the outset, the mixture of complex lead guitar over heavy riffs by Tony MacAlpine, and the diversion of some neat funky fusion piano, grabs you by the throat and leaves you gob-smacked.
The hard rock fusion with melody continues with MacAlpine featured again on “Mercury 7”, with some very intricate fret board work and the complex drum and bass arrangement. The overall big sound is melodic and works so well on so many levels.
Now it’s the turn of Steve Lukather, whose first two appearances on the album, “Mulholland” and “Euphoria” are just simply astounding. His crystal clear and intricate playing over great rocking keys and his full, rounded solos are classic Lukather; and his overall moody, echoed contribution to the layered atmospheres on the latter is sublime.
One of my favorite rock guitar players ever, Steve Stevens, appears on the fast paced “Ghost Runner” and the brilliant title track “Oceana”. The man simply shines, he’s one of the best in the business.
There’s a cameo from Sherinian’s Black Country Communion former band mate Joe Bonamassa on the faultless, bluesy “I Heard That”. A marvelous tune full of emotion and class.
“Seven Sins” is driven along by a stellar Steve Lukather, and “El Camino Diablo” features Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake) playing a memorable funky rhythm and superb layered guitar.
When you have musicians of this caliber playing on an instrumental album, the result could be technically embarrassing, too much complex and hard to digest.
“Oceana” is the opposite.
This is the most ‘commercial’ Sherinian album ever. The targets appear to have been melody and emotion, not simply utter complexity. Surprisingly not progressive in general (there’s some elaborated passages, of course), this album Rocks.
The entire disc features breathtaking musicianship. From soft and gentle arrangements to hard and heavy with everything in between. At moments it is jazzy and then it bangs you over the head with a guitar or keyboard solo that will drop your jaw.
Very melodic and appealing, “Oceana” is a must, not only for instrumental fans, but also for any rocker out there.
Don’t miss this one.
01 – Five Elements
02 – Mercury 7
03 – Mulholland
04 – Euphoria
05 – Ghost Runner
06 – El Camino Diablo
07 – I Heard That
08 – Seven Sins
09 – Oceana
Derek Sherinian: Keyboards, Synths, Piano
Steve Lukather: Guitar
Tony Macapline: Guitar
Joe Bonamassa: Guitar
Steve Stevens: Guitar
Doug Aldrich: Guitar
Tony Franklin: Bass
Jimmy Johnson: Bass
Simon Phillips: Drums, Percussion
BUY IT !