Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Genius Of... Tim Smith #8

Ocean Heaven by Tim Smith

Following the release of Cardiacs' 1989 album 'On Land And In The Sea', Tim Smith went into the studio to work on new material. But this wouldn't turn out to be for a Cardiacs release. In fact the line-up that had graced the previous two albums was close to dissolving. Instead, this was a one-man affair - the Tim Smith solo album.

The songs clearly sounded like the mad genius was behind them, but they were different to Cardiacs - and indeed all his previous side-projects - in many ways. The primary difference was the proliferation of keyboards with the guitars toned right down. As a result, it was lighter, more psychedelic than much of the Cardiacs' work.

The results of the project were finally released in 1995 as 'Tim Smith's Extra Special OceanLandWorld', ten tracks recorded and performed almost entirely by the great man (his wife Sarah playing sax on one track was the only guest contribution). It definitely wasn't a Cardiacs album, though a couple of tracks definitely had an air of his band about them. Rat Mice Lice Time was not a million miles away from the sort of sound we'd get on 'Guns', Cardiacs' last album, while England's, the one with Sarah, sounds like old-school Cardiacs, probably because of Sarah's part. For the most part though, this was a very different sounding record for Tim.

Between recording and release, Cardiacs splintered and became a four-piece, recorded 'Heaven Born And Ever Bright' and started work on 'Sing To God'. Tim and Sarah also split up as a couple. While 'OceanLandWorld' doesn't quite come up to the standard of his best works, it is an interesting project and a worthwhile venture. Maybe doing his own thing helped Tim focus his mind in the midst of chaos. Or maybe it didn't. You never know with him...

Ocean Heaven is the album's closing track and has a lot going on in it. It pretty much sums the record up in a single song.

1 comment:

  1. Keep this series going, that's a belting song. To my ears it's very much prog. rock, which is usually no bad thing - a statement I would never ever have made ten years ago.