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ALBUM REVIEW: Being As An Ocean ‘How We Both Wondrously Perish’

1979513_665370373526488_1939469215_nAfter a long wait, Being As An Ocean has finally released their second album to date. How We Both Wondrously Perish is definitely one of their best works yet. Their first debut, Dear G-d, stole many hearts, and helped the band gain a lot of exposure in the past year or so. Finally, we have a follow-up of one of the most unique names in music.

This album begins with a strong and upbeat start. “Mediocre Shakespeare” goes deep with the lyrics. Part of me was relieved they possibly hadn’t changed much of their music, but I was eager to keep listening for something new. When the second song starts, I get my wish and can clearly tell of the member change.  Apparently Connor Dennis joins the drums, and Michael McGough picks up the guitar in 2013. They seem to be both incredibly powerful musicians and I can sense the progression of sound. I felt that in the first album, Joel was the star with his poetic presence and capturing voice – but this new one really showcases the composition behind that, and perfectly enough that it’s not overshadowing anybody. Could this get any better? Oh, it does.

The third song, “L’exquisite Douleur”, (which actually translates into “The Exquisite Pain”) really brings back the reminder that Joel’s voice is just as comforting as it was in the band’s first release. The next one, “How We Both Wondrously Perish”, is a short intermission consisting of beautiful instrumental work. It’s almost too short for me, since I could probably listen to it for hours if I wanted to. The next song after, “The Poets Cry For More”, begins with a slightly more acoustic tone, and we are once again brought to phenomenon that is Joel’s lyrics: “We are all homeless one way or another,” he starts. He ends the beginning verse with “We have all made mistakes, and God I’ve made mistakes, but mistakes haven’t made me.”  This song is completely passionate, and really speaks for itself.

Now we’re a little more halfway through. Back to an upbeat start with “We Drag The Dead On Leashes”, yet still keeping it fervent. So many diverse elements within the music that it keeps you wanting to listen again and again to catch something you didn’t find before. “Even The Dead Have Their Tasks” and “Grace Teach Us What We Lack”, are the next songs that switch up the feel of the album. It’s starting to get slow and peaceful, a wonderful contrast to the fiery passion in the first half.

The final two tracks progress into something new altogether. “Mothers” is perfect and absolutely beautiful in every way. The lyrics linger, and I’m going to be honest… I was tearing up while I listened to every word as it escalated into more and more emotion. Luckily as the song settles I’m intrigued – what’s that? Is that… a trombone? In possibly D Major?! It caught me by surprise, but this jazz element is perfect for the ending of such a stunning masterpiece. Lastly “Natures”, is the final track to play. It slowly reminds me that yet another wonderful creation of work is about to come to an end. Growing louder, it builds up into a great piece of all different tones together, only to fade into a single dream-like piano serenade.

This record slowly turns into a beautiful development of progression within their music, but still keeps the true, poetic, and deep feeling that Being as an Ocean has been about since the beginning. I am absolutely speechless. Being As An Ocean, you have done it once again.

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Caitlin Shores

Writer and Photographer

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