After the love and support he received for his 6th EP, ‘Messages’ released earlier this year, R&B singer oceanfromtheblue is back with a new album titled ‘forward’. While ‘Messages’ was all about delivering supportive messages to his listeners, ‘forward’ paints a more somber tale of a relationship that started out with the usual nervous tingles but ended on a poignant note. It also employs the unique skillsets of different producers like Unsinkable, Yunu, DAUL, etc., and different artists like DON MALIK, SOLE, etc. to give more enhanced and versatile music to the listeners.
What attracts the listeners to oceanfromtheblue, particularly this EP ‘forward’, is how even though he doesn’t really do something totally avant-garde, each of his songs still has a very fresh and satisfying feel to it. The way in which he vocalizes the universal language of love is closely attuned to the reality that the listeners face/can relate to, and so his songs seem to pluck at his listeners’ heartstrings.
“This album is very special to me personally. I’ve always worked by myself with little help and this time was a little different. I tried collaborating with many talented artists, learning to adapt to various styles. I hope you enjoy the tracks as much as I do 🐟💙”
say yes (ft. unofficialboyy)
Kicking off the new EP with a trendy romantic blend, oceanfromtheblue joins forces with rapper-singer, unofficialboyy who is known for his musical versatility. Getting MRSHLL on the team of lyricists alongside them, the artists pen down the “tug-of-war” phase of love where the lover eagerly waits for their beloved to ‘say yes’. The music production of this song seems to be really alluring as it ties the melodic beats, the mellifluent vocals of oceanfromtheblue, the groovy rap verse by unofficialboyy, and the addictive back vocals that weave their way throughout the track. The song draws in the listeners of the EP immediately, compelling them to listen on to EP ‘forward’.
purple (ft. ROMderful)
Switching up from the uncertainty of the beginning of their love to the bittersweet conclusion of it, the 2nd song ‘purple’ is all about euphonic sonics and vocals. Riding a simple-yet-classic beat, oceanfromtheblue and British producer, ROMderful wow their listeners with their dulcet and sentimental singing. It is quite a welcome surprise to see ROMderful showcasing his vocal skills alongside oceanfromtheblue, since many just know him as a producer and multi-instrumentalist.
The lyrics, “So I’ll cry you a river and build you/ a boat, then ship away our memories/ It was good whilst it lasted, the ending was bittersweet/ But I guess, I’m free” as the chorus in contrast rings, “I won’t meet a girl like you again/ twice again”, also make a song a poetic-yet-relatable listen.
icy girl (ft. SOLE)
The pre-release track that caught everyone’s attention and hyped up the anticipation for EP ‘forward’, ‘icy girl’ is a neo-soul-inspired song. It turns the time back to the nervous-tingling phase of love, where oceanfromtheblue sings, “There are a lot of boys around me that stand out/ but they are nothing compared to me/ I dance more to ease my uneasy heart/Look here/ I know you’re so icy girl”. The song conveys the pleasant tranquility mixed with the bubbling feelings of joy and nervousness in a well-thought-out conversational style between oceanfromtheblue and SOLE who is the voice of the ‘icy girl’ here. The use of some unique and witty phrases like, “A glimpse of your dress looks like a brownie/ Your yellow curly hair looks like Hermoine” also lends a memorable appeal to the track.
Having the same name as the album title, ‘forward’ sees oceanfromtheblue singing, “I want to leave, I want to go anywhere/ I want to leave, I wanna go anywhere, yeah” as he says goodbye to his beloved who it seems says nothing to his proclamation. Teaming up with Dejavu Group’s composer-producer VIANN, oceanfromtheblue draws the listeners in with a Soul-RnB-groove-inspired production that mixes in some bright sweet-toned undernotes to amp up the pleasing quality of the song as a whole. The short rap verse interjection also stands out from the usual mellifluous vocals of the artist; it pulls the listener deeper into oceanfromtheblue’s musical world.
poison (ft. DON MALIK)
After taking a step forward, the lover finds himself still unable to free himself from the presence of his lover. The listeners see for the first time through ‘poison’ that the relationship being sung about seems to be tinged with toxicity: “Come to me without a word/ take my everything/ as always you leave me empty”. oceanfromtheblue also amps up the tempo of the first few lines and then the accompanying instrumentation, making the lyrical atmospheric track, even more intriguing.
Don Malik‘s rap verse also seems to be well-suited to the fast pace of the song and displays elite penmanship as he alludes to the fairytale of Snow White; likening his toxic beloved to a poisoned apple and Snow White at the same time.
snow (ft. Gyeong Je Hwan)
‘snow’ follows up on the unbreakable connection oceanfromtheblue feels to his beloved and leads to the acceptance of the fact that despite their parting, “This is probably a pause/ it won’t be the end, irresistible”. With instrumentals consistent with the prevalent vibe and melodic blend of album ‘forward’, this track conveys the ‘still haunted by memories’ emotions of the lover through the harmonious voices of fellow R&B singers, oceanfromtheblue and Gyeong Je Hwan. The metaphorical reference to icy snow and how even “After the ice has melted/ It’s still there like water drops/ Yeah, you’re still there in my heart”, again, lends a poetic touch to the poignant tale of love that oceanfromtheblue is narrating.
‘PTSD’ is the last on the ‘forward’ tracklist and is quite an intriguing and befitting outro. Seeing the title as ‘PTSD’ i.e., Post-traumatic stress disorder, the listeners would probably expect to be greeted with a solemn melody line and a subdued vocal tone. However, oceanfromtheblue paints his soundscape in vibrant hues both in terms of instrumentation and vocals. The contrast of this landscape with the heart-aching distress that the lover feels as he is forced to acknowledge that he already knew at first sight that she didn’t love him and so is suffering alone upon separation, lends a bittersweet and assuaging feeling to the song.