September 4, 2020 Billy Ocean – One World (Album Review)
Trinidadian-British Singer-Songwriter Billy Ocean has a voice of gold. Making music since 1969, he has worked will all sorts of musicians, and thankfully his talents have also acquired him a quite a bit of fame as a solo R&B and Soul singer. As a matter of fact, he was the most popular R&B artist to grace the airwaves in the early to mid-1980s with hits such as “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run),” “Suddenly,” “Loverboy,” and “There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry),” among others. Now celebrating his 70th birthday in 2020, Ocean is back with a brand new album of original music in a tightly knit album called One World.
His first studio album of original songs in over 10 years, following a brief delay in release due to the current pandemic, One World landed on Friday, September 4th thanks to Sony Music. His 10th overall studio album, it features everything you would except from Ocean, but also a very positive, hopefully feeling that we could all use right about now.
It is no secret that the world is in turmoil, it has been for a while, but current events have certainly pushed matters a little further. Pandemics, natural catastrophes, politic division, and racial injustices, it really seems like the pot is boiling over. Thankfully we have always had the remedy to our problems right in front of us with music, and Ocean knows it. An intelligent, talented man, he uses his voice to try and heal, but also makes us realize that we are all in this together.
All this said, the album title is fitting, and so does “We Gotta Find Love,” the opening which begins the journey across twelve new songs. From here, Ocean takes you by the hand and leads you through diverse, worldly compositions that include “Love You More” and the oh so seductive “Feel The Love.” Then he turns the beat around all while driving home a powerful message with his dance laden title-track.
From here, you have a retro Funk vibed “When I Saw You,” international flavored “Mystery,” smooth R&B tone of “Missing You Everyday,” as well as “Can’t Stand The Pain.” A mix of heartfelt love tunes to this point, Ocean continues to steer the boat with more unifying lyrics on “All Over The World” and the fast, catchy “Daylight,” before “Nothing Will Stand in Our Way” harks back to some lovely classic ’80s instrumentation in the finale.
Overall, like any Billy Ocean album, One World does not necessarily fit into just one genre. A sweet stroll through many styles, whether it be Reggae, Soul, R&B, Rock, or even Swing, Ocean unifies everything together magically. All clarified by Ocean’s mellow, silky smooth voice, these songs show you just how beautiful our diversity is, and if we try, we can all lively happily together. A special collection that never grows boring, you are reminded of just how powerful music can really be. That is why Cryptic Rock gives One World 4.5 out of 5 stars.