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Shell And The Ocean - 1989 Turn Blue



ARTIST: Shell And The Ocean
ALBUM: Turn Blue
LABEL: EMI/Electrola
SERIAL: 566-7 91605 2
YEAR: 1989

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Cyra - vocals * Thomas Lohr - guitars * Stefan Lupp - keyboards * Micha Witzel - drums * Victoria Miles - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Into (Theres A Shell In The Ocean Just Like Marylin) * 02 All Of You * 03 Imprisoned By Emotion * 04 You Are Mine * 05 I Just Cry For You * 06 If You Walk Away From Love * 07 Facing Your Love * 08 Invisible Love * 09 We Own The Night * 10 Rock That House


Background
Germany has a habit of releasing these hi-tech projects more so than most. In previous years we've seen efforts from Balanx, Queen Of Spades, Valet Parking, Beau Heart, Craaft and Jojo, all demonstrating their ability in this genre. Add to that the obscure outfit Shell And The Ocean. Interesting name, not sure what the significance is. In any case, lead singer Cyra has a beautiful voice, who shifts effortlessly between styles reminiscent of Dalbello, Alannah Myles, Marie Fredericksen, Annie Lennox and Grace Slick. The band's sound could be described as a far superior version of Wild Blue mixed in with some Starship and perhaps a little bit of debut album era Joal in there too. The production and ambience throughout 'Turn Blue' is top-drawer stuff.


The Songs
The album at first glance appears to be keyboard heavy. That might appeal to some of you, but guitar fans fear not. There is the occasional six-string splurge and solo, but taken in the context as a body of work, this is a total musical experience without too much dependence on either instrument. The intro at the start, which shifts into the track 'Desire' gives you a quick glimpse into the world of these musical aquanauts. A collage of sorts which makes way for a brooding piece dedicated to the late Marilyn Monroe. Listen to this under a set of headphones! Even more compelling is the awesome AOR of 'All Of You', if you are a fan of bands like Fake I.D or Venus And Mars then you'll be right at home here. Roxette styled pop/rock is displayed on 'Imprisoned By Emotion', followed by the blatant reggaed flavour commerciality of 'You Are Mine', a track which takes a bit of getting used to. The big ballad 'If You Walk Away From Love' drips with emotion amid a reverb-laced production but the next tune 'Facing You Love' is gorgeous stuff with an incredible chorus.. goodness where's my hanky? 'Invisible Love' is more compelling hi-tech pop/rock, while a limp start doesn't help 'We Own The Night' but the track picks up markedly; a hard rockin' affair it becomes. The closer 'Rock That House' is full of weird effects and upbeat pop, similar to 'Knee Deep In The Hoopla' era Starship.


In Summary
Like most hard to find releases from that late eighties, it becomes harder to find nearly fifteen years on. Expect to pay a small fortune for this disc if you see it. For fans of hi-tech AOR, rock/pop with an emphasis of quality female vocals, Shell And The Ocean come highly recommended.


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