Some musicians mean business, and that’s why, when Chris Storrow (of Bossanova) decided to make a solo album, he pulled in a little extra help. Storrow’s new solo release, The Ocean’s Door, Storrow’s own clever musicianship mixed with a little help from members of bands such as The New Pornographers and The Besnard Lakes. The album is overall an upbeat and chipper experience featuring a variety of instrumentation and complex melodies.
Chris Storrow’s The Ocean’s Door is a sentimental slew of poppy songs. The album is built to burst with energy. Songs often feature upbeat melodies. Meanwhile, Chris Storrow manages to work in some emotional lyrical lines and keep things honest. Add a dash of jangle and you suddenly have a nice twist on some otherwise pretty poppy songs.
Admittedly, it was a bit hard to really enjoy The Ocean’s Door. The music often feels like there’s too much going on without any clear, cohesive theme. Take for instance, the opening track, “A True Christian.” Guitars, a great deal of repetitious percussion, horns, keys, a number of other voices making some sort of overwhelming sound pour through your speakers –on top of all that, Storrow tries to sing a pretty fluid melody. The end result is the Disneyland syndrome –just way too busy of a song to enjoy the perks of it. This is the unfortunate side of The Ocean’s Door. Sure the music is chipper and nice to listen to, but it’s noisy –and not in a good way. Worse off, The Ocean’s Door sounds pretty generic –like Hallmark movie generic. There’s something a bit plastic or unspectacular to them. The quality of the album overall suggests that Storrow really put in the effort, unfortunately he may have also done himself a disservice by overdoing it.
Even if the album has its flaws, Chris Storrow did put together a killer team for this album and it shows. Even if a bit dense, the music features some great instrumental lines and playing. As a result, the album remains digestible and pleasant enough.
Overall, Chris Storrow’s The Ocean’s Door is doomed to be a polarizing album. The music is upbeat and lovely enough but it’s just not going to be for everyone. If you like a little jangle, if you want a little pop in your life, if it’s an insatiable thirst for more music –then give Storrow’s latest album a listen. Anyone else would be better to wait.