Label: Mascot Records
Reviewed: September, 2011
LISTENER BEWARE! Upon commencement of playing Derek Sherinian’s Oceana, one will be diluged with a symphony of progressive metal fusion the likes of which haven’t been heard in quite a long time.
Oceana is the seventh solo effort by keyboard genius, Derek Sherinian and, honestly, it is his best album yet – and I didn’t think that it would ever be possible. “The Caligula of the Keyboards” (as labeled by Alice Cooper) brought in some of the best and brightest of his vast musical circle of friends to put together this incredible collection of music. Friends like Simon Phillips, Joe Bonamass, Steve Stevens, Steve Lukather, Tony MacAlpine, Doug Aldrich, Tony Franklin (Roy Harper, The Firm, Jimmy Page, among others) and Jimmy Johnson (James Taylor, Allan Holdsworth, Lee Ritenour) bring their remarkable talents to the project to come up with a sound that is like no other.
The album bombards the listeners eardrums with the intricately tight Five Elements and drags you along for a fun-filled musical journey that guarantees that you’ll have this disc on “repeat” for days to come. I’m hard-pressed to identify a favorite because I love all the tunes on this disc so I’ll narrow it down to three . . . for now.
El Camino Diablo is a struttin’ tune that Sherinian and Phillips co-wrote with Doug Aldrich. The guitar work is phenomenal and tight. Put this tune on while you’re driving and I dare you to stay within the speed limit.
I Heard That was co-written with Derek’s Black Country Communion band mate (and another Boomerocity favorite), Joe Bonamassa. JB’s fingerprints are all over this tune is sure to be a crowd favorite. Beautifully written and produced, I found myself hitting “repeat” . . . often.
The last in my trifecta of favorites is one of Sherinian/Phillip’s three collaborations with another guitar great, Steve Lukather. The tune is Seven Sins and is indescribably smooth – especially the great bass work provided by Jimmy Johnson.
Oceana. You’ll definitely want this one.