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Michael Oakley “The Odyssey” ~ Official Album Review

Here it is, one of the most anticipated albums on the scene, "The Odyssey" by Michael Oakley! I'm happy to provide where there is a demand, and an extensive review is what we all deserve. Odyssey There’s nothing quite like a soothing introduction at the start of

Here it is, one of the most anticipated albums on the scene, “The Odyssey” by Michael Oakley! I’m happy to provide where there is a demand, and an extensive review is what we all deserve.

There’s nothing quite like a soothing introduction at the start of an album. I’m surprised at the choice of style, which starts off somewhere like a new age track, then slips gradually into the strumming of guitars. We’re lulled into the cradle of sounds colliding and dissipating at the end of the track, parting the way to the next track.

Michael Oakley & Ollie Wride – Wake Up!
It’s always a good time when Ollie Wride is involved, and this partnership of vocals is no doubt a dream come true. This feel-good track has lyrics that could warm the coldest heart. Living life to the fullest, accepting the good that comes, and setting fear aside are just a few golden tokens of motivation that can be found. Falling asleep at the wheel of life is not an option, so you better “Wake Up!” The harmonization between these two talented vocalists is hopefully foreshadowing more collaborations in the future.

Is There Anybody Out There? [Jon Campbell Radio Edit]
There’s a familiarity in the melody of this track in particular, and with it, the teenage angst and rebellious vibe are infused and uplifted by the chorus. The lyrics are endowed by the heavenly voice of Michael Oakley, and that familiarity supplements the spiral of repetition with the arpeggio. Chords lead up to the bridge, bringing us to the final blow of the choir. Finding someone we can relate to is the core message behind the track, and as we get older, we become further apart from who we thought we were in our younger years.

The tone of this track opens up to a gradual climb, and Oakley’s voice entrances us into the next phase of the album. The biblical references continue forward, speaking of a heaven-like love endowed with a strength of proportions most dream of. The harmony of vocals paired with the proclamations of protection really bring the chorus together as it resounds through my speakers. The synth truly illuminates the culmination of percussion as the climax is reached, leading up to the delicacy of the sax, opening up a whole new wave of emotion.

Glasgow Song [Ft. Dana Jean Phoenix]
The city streets are bustling with life, and you can almost see the rain on the sidewalks, the grit beneath your feet, and I’m right there as the music befalls the atmosphere. This ballad between two heart-palpitating vocalists is exactly what we needed. The shatter of drums complements the ever-present synth keys and the clash of perfection fills my ears by Oakley and Phoenix’s duet harmonization. The lyrical tone expresses the longing of fate, the destination in the distance, and reaching out for what’s yours. I love that I can visualize the city lights and wet pavement of this journey well-traveled by two amazing artists who are dedicated to the nostalgia we crave. It feels almost like a testament to where they’ve been, where they’ve gone, and where they are headed. The bagpipes are a nice touch to bring reference to Glasgow full-circle, and I can’t help but appreciate it.

Real Life
What is “real” anyway? This song is a fantasy unencumbered by reality. Oakley’s revelations of love and broken hearts have always been irresistible to me in the way of lyricism and the way it manifests in his music. The saxophone returns pulling us into its somber solo moments. The way Oakley combines unique percussions with delicate chimes throughout this track makes it impossible not to keep track of its progression from verse to verse. We’ve all been brought to our knees when desire suppresses our hold on the buzzkill of what’s real. If there is any hope of returning to our memories, we easily trick the mind by reminiscing on what was.

Queen of Hearts
Starting off the track we have a slow and steady melody from the synth and Oakley opening with the main chorus. Roaming old home towns, unrecognizing yourself, and being unrecognized by familiar faces is a feeling we can resonate with to a certain degree. To Oakley, that might be more obvious. I find myself thoroughly enjoying the increase of bpm as the song progresses, and I’m also a little homesick myself so the kick-drum allows me to give into it. The tempo is familiar, the guitar chords dance along with the rise, and by the end, we’re laid down by the calm dissipation of the reverb.

When Stars Collide
I haven’t heard an intro like this since Dido’s “Thank you”, so I’m surprised, but I listen on. I notice the reference to Icarus and as a mythology buff, this is pleasing to hear. The pulse of the chords and the echoes of each word proceed to cradle me in a warmth that is uncommon. Is it the lyrics? Is it the melody? Perhaps it’s both. I’d say this track is more nostalgic of the ’90s and perhaps that was the goal Oakley had in mind. I think the synthwave scene is in the middle of an interesting shift between some of the other notable bands that have been incorporating more of

The harmonizations throughout this album remind me of a lot of Christian rock bands, which I can’t help but point out. Is Christianwave a thing? Anyway, my ADD brain aside, the lyrics point to signs of a love song, and perhaps a bit of overextending the gesture of what it is to be a person of faith. The way that I can interpret these verses vs what Oakley really meant to say may be far from the truth, but throughout the album resides multiple biblical references and verbiage that make it quite obvious to me that whatever kind of love Oakley shares with us is, perhaps, heaven-sent. This is solely an observation, and I invite you to listen and let us know what your thoughts are!


Review overview


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