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SONGS FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR
Kip Winger Music
Produced by: Kip Winger
Released: MAY / Website
Closest Relative: Winger, Sting
Kip Winger is back with his long awaited follow up to 1997's Thiscoversationseemslikeadream. That record was one album that took an enormous amount of listening to, to absorb, contemplate and generally familiarize oneself with. I said of the album when I reviewed in late in '97: A slick AOR pop/rock record, extremely moody and even dark in places, mellow in tone, without being ballad driven. A highly intelligent record which risks deviating from the norm, and a great showcase for Kip's writing talents, some of which were untapped until this record. |
What Kip winger has delivered in 2000 has built on the reputation of that album, taking it even further into a world seldom tapped by a rock artist.
Kip lost his wife in a car accident soon after the release of Thisconversation. I was prepared for this new album to be introspective and it certainly is.
Songs From The Ocean Floor is less commercial, more personal, more musically intricate, involved and moodier and even more intense than it's predecessor.
Cross opens the album in a moody and mysterious fashion, with layers upon layers of soft acoustic guitars
backing a smooth vocal that soon becomes emotional and powerful. Similar in approach to Endless Circles off Thisconversation.|
Crash The Wall is immediately harder hitting with a heavy chorus and a softly spoken verse. More acoustic and electric guitars entwine around a groove heavy rhythm section.
The most experimental Kip Winger track to date is Sure Was A Wild Flower. Beginning with loops and effects, Kip's vocals are raspy and emotional through the verse, then backed by effects and several intense layers of vocals in various pitches during the verse, which is also more musically intense.
Two Lovers Stand is a wonderful hard hitting major ballad. The track features soft acoustic guitars and orchestral strings beneath a vocal that is brought forward in the mix to allow the passion and emotions show. One of the highlights of the album once you get to know it.
Landslide is another intense pop song, filled with layers of acoustic guitars and particularly some great percussion and effects and a very moody chorus.
Upping the tempo somewhat is the equally intense Faster, which as the song title says - is faster in temp - and features more effects and a layout that requires several listens, to get to know.
A laid back new age intro is overtaken by a dark and brooding vocal on Song Of Midnight. Once again the chorus only presents itself after several listens. Dark and very un-commercial.
The song has an extended instrumental lead out that runs straight into the very musically complex instrumental track Free. This track feature a full orchestra, acoustic guitars and several bursts of intense musical output that quite obviously couldn't fit a vocal around.
Only One Word leads in straight on the heels of that track with a haunting piano and vocal that is sparse to start with but is added to by various instruments through the song. A song that takes a lot of listening to, but is one of the best of the album with it's personal approach.
Broken Open is a more uptempo track just when one was needed. A simpler pop rock number, it contains but hides a little, more the darkness of the rest of the album.
And now for my favorite track of the album! Resurrection is one of the most intelligent and complex pop songs I have heard. It is a slow ultra moody rock ballad that features more raw emotion and vocals that are backed by some fantastic backing vocals and effects and features a chorus that is subtle but effective and then leads out to an extended outro featuring backing vocal effects and an occasional lead. Then there's the last 10 seconds of the track. Spine tingling stuff.
Everything You Need ends the album with a song that has a simpler structure and in comparison to the rest of the tracks is almost a straight forward mid tempo pop song. A wonderful chorus that ends the album on a high note, both musically and spiritually.
It's sometimes hard to review an album as the reviewer gets to pull apart songs and emotions that are a part of the songwriters life. especially in cases like this album where the lyrical content is very persona. But in this instance it is a pleasure.
Some fans might still favor Thisconversation over this album, but it is really going to be down to personal choice. Thisconversation won much praise and this album is everything that album was. if you own one, you need the other. No doubt. Personally I am not ready to rate this album against that, they are both awesome. But I do give it a higher mark as I have had a long time now to enjoy Thisconversation and it rates much higer than the original 80% I gave it.
|PRODUCTION: 92%||SONGS: 90%||VIBE: 88%||ATTITUDE: 90%||ESSENTIAL FOR: Fans of Kip's debut, Winger fans and fans of mature high tech AOR.|
DISCOGRAPHY:Winger; Solo - Thisconversationseemslikeadream . Songs From The Oceam Floor