Bounce The Ocean - 1991 Bounce The Ocean

dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
edited April 2020 in year-1991

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ARTIST: Bounce The Ocean
ALBUM: Bounce The Ocean
LABEL: Private Music
SERIAL: 01005-82080-2
YEAR: 1991

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Hawk Bjorn - vocals, keyboards * John Utter - vocals, guitar

AdditIonal Musicians: Frank Bry - bass, keyboard programming, drum samples * Andy Kravitz - drums * Michael Thompson - guitar * Donny Kirkpatrick - guitar * Tim Lerch - guitar * Greg Leisz - slide guitar * Michael Omartian - keyboards, piano, bass * Steve Berlin - sax, drum programming, percussion * Dave Boroff - sax

TRACK LISTING: 01 Throw It All Away * 02 So We Collide * 03 Wasting My Time * 04 Letting Go * 05 Gloria * 06 Crooked Heart * 07 Dry Your Eyes * 08 When She Turned Away * 09 Scientists * 10 It Just Gets Better

RATING: image

Background

Can we picture a better place to compose and record a polished Pop/Hi Tech AOR album in the early 1990's than Washington State, whose biggest city happens to be Seattle? And what if the record company promoted it as 'Seattle's own' to take advantage of the Grunge popularity at that time?

Swedish-born Hawk Bjorn first met John Utter at Walla Walla, Washington in the late 80's, and the duo managed to get a couple of their songs included in the soundtrack to 1988's movie 'Some Girls' before signing with Private Records for this 1991 debut.

Bounce The Ocean bandpic

The Songs

The Swedish singer of the duo cites ABBA, ELO and 10cc among his influences. I would add early Bee Gees and The Outfield to the picture.

The somewhat cold and akin to the 80's production of Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, USA for Africa and countless CCM artists) stresses the silky vocals embedded in pop hooks, and this is what the album is all about. Lyrics are mostly reflections of sensitive young adults on love and relationships.

The anthemic 'Throw It All Away', that reached the Billboard charts in 1992, is as compelling as Return's 'Sing Me A Song'. Bjorn's polished Richard Marx-like vocals grace the uptempo pop, doo wop harmonies and sax solo included, of 'So We Collide'; as well as the superb, ethereal Hi Tech AOR radio single 'Wasting My Time'.

The chugging 'Letting Go' holds a terrific ascending chorus, while the sunny and somehow stripped 'Gloria' is a pop delight. Then what can I say about 'Crooked Heart', another pop goodie with that simple but catchy keyboard line after the refrains.

'Dry Your Eyes' combines an early Bee Gees-like verse with a chorus in full I-Ten fashion.

The next two songs feature Mr. Utter on vocals. After the melancholic ballad 'When She Turned Away', 'Scientists' recalls those Jeff Lynne trademark vocal lines.

The last song 'It Just Gets Better' was part of the aforementioned 'Some Girls' OST and is a dreamy ballad crowned by Michael Thompson's guitar solo.

In Summary

For lack of better words, this is the case of a hidden gem, one that fell into obscurity almost everywhere except for Argentina, where it got fair radio airplay back in the day.

It was arguably released in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still easy to find on CD, but rarely brought into music discussions, get it while you can.

A second Bounce The Ocean album was in the works back in the early 90's, but after Private Music's acquisition by BMG, it got shelved.

Videos

Bounce The Ocean - Wasting My Time

Bounce The Ocean - So We Collide

Bounce The Ocean - Gloria

Bounce The Ocean - Crooked Heart


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Comments

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    dtabachndtabachn Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Singer Hawk Bjorn recently found out about our Bounce The Ocean review and he's been kind enough to write to us.

    Here's a song that was intended to be part of Bounce The Ocean's second album:


    Here's a song Hawk Bjorn recorded early in this 2020:


    And this is the title track from Hawk's 2012 solo album 'Life Insurance':


    Thank you Hawk for reaching out to us!
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