John Greska is an artist who recently released Life as An Ocean. He explains that the album takes its listeners on a trip across the ocean and back. Additionally, he mentions that the album is an electro-classical fusion.
The album seems to be built of electronic elements, even the strings and other instrumentation you might associate to be designated to an organic realm. It reminded me of the Destroyer album Your Blues in this regard although I could argue Life as An Ocean feels more organic in some ways.
There are a number of moods throughout this album, some of which were quite unexpected. Perhaps the most beautiful song is the opener “Learning To Sail.” The virtual piano notes and synthetic strings sound like an approximation but it works wonderfully when it combines with sine waves. At its peak the song has resemblance to Sigur Rós. The song brought me into a cerebral and contemplative mood. I was ready to stay for awhile and go down this road of introspection.
The next song “A Sea Shanty For Losers Who Want To Win” is such a departure in mood. It sounds like a sea shanty as the title says and the first minute or so I felt like I was at an old English pier. The whole feel is playful and you can even do a little dance to it. The second song really confused me as to what else was going to be on the album. On the cinematic “As They Drift Away” he melds melancholy and hope while on “An Angel To Protect Us” he combines stuttering synths and a serene harp.
The mood feel robotic with a lot of early midi on “Danger On The Sea.” It revisits the levity and then goes into the slightly ominous on “The Calm Before The Storm.” “The Storm” is another very cinematic piece. “As We Drift Closer” is a pleasant follow-up while “Sailing Back To The Pier” is a smooth adventure and “A Neverending Journey” is a fitting closer.
I love when artists meld orchestral and electronic elements. Max Richter, Jon Hopkins and Ben Lukas Boysen have some amazing work. This felt different to me in that this seemed like such a story based auditory experience. I would say to such a degree that I felt like I was missing dialogue. Perhaps food for thought.
I applaud Greska for attempting and pulling off such an immersive journey at sea.
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