The subtitle of a ‘collaboration album’ between the two artists is a pretty good description of what's on offer here as it combines the talents of both parties. The vocal harmonies and interaction are central to the album sound with the balance of the male/female axis giving the songs their heart and soul. The instrumentation is a careful blend of acoustic instruments including mandolin, lap-steel, resophonic guitar and piano over a subtle but effective rhythm section, percussion and keyboards. The overall effect is enticing and one that rewards repeated listening.
It is a genuine collaboration with sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell and Hell all contributing songs. The album has an overall soundwhich is explored across the ten songs and it is perhaps wrong to pick an individual track from the overall experience of the album which flows and ebbs as the ocean of the album title. Though the slower I Can Almost where voices blend together over a restrained musical backing with prominent resophonic guitar and Tired which opens with Hell's voice leading the vocals or the layered vocals of Missing Home all have an immediate attraction.
Larkin Poe have featured in these pages in the past, while Thom Hell is a new name. He is a Norwegian singer-songwriter with several albums to his credit. This albumwas recorded in both Norway and Atlanta and is a testament to the talent of both parties and a very viable and worthwhile collaboration that will enhance the recorded work of both. The production by Audun Borrmann is perfect for the aims of the album which will hopefully lead to further recordings and to some investigating the work of both participants.