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Articles Home » 2005 Articles » Spiro, Mark - 2005 Mighty Blue Ocean
 
Spiro, Mark - 2005 Mighty Blue Ocean



ARTIST: Spiro, Mark
ALBUM: Mighty Blue Ocean
LABEL: Atenzia
SERIAL: ATZ02034
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Mark Spiro - vocals, instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mighty Blue Ocean * 02 Band Of Angels * 03 Monster * 04 When She Cries * 05 Envy Shade Of Green * 06 The Beautiful One * 07 Bits And Pieces * 08 Being In Your World * 09 Perfect Wave * 10 My Velocity

RATING:


Background
One of the best songwriters in melodic rock is Mark Spiro. His output took a new twist in the nineties decade with a whole host of album releases on West Coast Records and MTM Music. All worth picking up by the way, even if they don't contain a lot of guitar solos. In 2003 he hooked up with Magnus Soderkvist and Atenzia Records for the release of 'King Of Crows'. In my review back then, I mentioned that Mark had taken a trip down Old Coach Road rather than AOR Boulevard. Singer/songwriter jangly pop is now Mark's preferred mode of transport, having left behind 'big-hair' power ballads and rockers in the eighties. This is continued on 'Mighty Blue Ocean' where the delivery is just as effortless. If you prefer to chill-out to the likes of Sko Torp, Bruce Hornsby And The Range and The Rembrandts, then prepare to dive-in with this album.


The Songs
Throughout the recording of this album, Mark was undergoing treatment for cancer. Not a good thing to be happening. Therefore the music has a story/theme behind it all. Mark's personal journey is reflected on 'Band Of Angels', the lyrics an obvious reference to his recent battle, the music sounding like John Waite. The message on 'Monster' belies the songtitle, a moving jangly affair with pop-based melodies, a lovely mellow listen nonetheless. A stronger sense of dynamics is apparent with 'When She Cries' whilst some sixties flavoured melodies waft through on 'Envy Shade Of Green'. I was reminded of that jangly midwest sound from Danish duo Sko Torp on 'The Beautiful One', for me one of the highlights on the album. 'Perfect Wave' is a total cruise, unlike 'My Velocity' which is a mixed bag. CCM one minute, 21st century pop the next, with a rough sounding electric guitar adding the contrast.


In Summary
I have to say I enjoyed 'Mighty Blue Ocean' more so than 'King Of Crows'. The melodies are so hooky on this one that they'll grab you everytime. I guess Spiro is the master of that anyway! The album is a better listen at nightime I reckon, a great mood setter rather than a sonic wake-up blast first thing in the morning. It is a pity that Mark doesn't have a website, as I'm sure many would like to send their best wishes to him in his recovery from cancer which appears to be in remission. I've read some indifferent feedback on this album elsewhere, but people are trying to pigeon-hole this into an environment that is no longer appropriate. As I said, Mark has left 'big-hair' music in the past. He has moved on, fans of his work, unfortunately, have not. The current direction still needs a bit of refinement to be totally compelling. Perhaps the one-cook one kitchen approach needs to be expanded slightly? However, the fact that 'Mighty Blue Ocean' has been written and recorded under duress is a testament to the mans fortitude.. regardless.


Related Articles
Spiro, Mark - 1996 Now Is Then, This Is Now
Spiro, Mark - 2003 King Of Crows
Spiro, Mark - 2005 Mighty Blue Ocean
Spiro, Mark - 2012 It's A Beautiful Life


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Comments
#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:48:12
As with Mark's last album, this has to be approached with a more open mind than on his previous releases. Many of the tracks are very dark lyrically & in mood, although this is not surprising, seeing what he has gone through & It does have Modern touches to some of the material. To me this sounds fine and gives the whole thing a nice up to date feel to the mainly Acoustic stylings of the album. Not an easy listen & one that takes a bit of effort, but persistence with it pays off in the end.
 
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