The Ocean from the River by Dublin band Ghost Maps is an extremely decadent and emotional album. A power album, it is not. However, all of the right elements are there. The Ocean and the Lover is proof, like many a beloved indie albums, that a band doesn’t need to be loud to be strong.
The album opens with a beautiful piano and string intro. Intro and prelude numbers are very fashionable on albums these days, and writer/front man Jeff Martin hit the nail on the head.
The intro then segways nicely into the first song on the album The Ocean and a Lover. Again, the piano is gorgeous, and the harmonies in the vocals make you feel the emotional depth of the song.
Some of the mid-album songs were lack-luster. The song Vanilla should have been released as the album’s single. A stronger candidate might have been the last song on the album titled Fade. Fade just has a statement that Vanilla seems to be missing. All of the instrumentals in the album are gorgeous, and the use of a variety of instruments give the album a very rounded sound.
Ghost Maps could benefit from a better production quality, as all bands could. If the let the vocals stand out a little more, like in The Ocean and the Lover it could have been a power album. But for the band’s first full length album, it is a solid seven out of 10 stars.