With modern worship music being a common avenue for praising our Heavenly Father today, it shouldn't surprise anyone a project like Oceans Above would surface. Producer Chad Howat, known best for his work as part of indie three-piece Paper Route, helms Oceans Above, an electronic pop rehash of popular worship songs originally penned and recorded by the top EMI contributors.
One of the problems first inherent with this project is the fact that most people have already heard the majority of these songs done over and over before - and better. The fact that you've heard "Blessed Be Your Name" how many times already makes yet another new rendition seem tired already. What Oceans Above does have going for it is it's sometimes musically interesting as Howat has fun rearranging each familiar song with electronic beats and boops. Unfortunately, it's just not enough to freshen these overplayed favorites (no matter how good the originals were). To make matters worse, much of the vocals on the project fall somewhere between weak and average, often sounding flat or without much range. And with a project that has as much conceptual potential as this one, good vocals are just as important as the album's new arrangements.
While the effort behind Oceans Above can be appreciated, and the concept may have sounded great during a brainstorming session, the outcome just doesn't really work. And upon listening to Howat's contributions to the far more intriguing Paper Route, it's hard not to notice that the qualities of both just don't match up.- Review date: 4/11/07, written by John DiBiase
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