Leslie Sebastian Charles had to wait for roughly five months for his new album One World.. The original release date was mid-April 2020, but due to all circumstances, it was postponed until 4th September 2020. You don’t know Mr Charles? In fact he is quite a musical legend coming from Trinidad and Tobago, but additionally having a British passport as well: here is my view on the new album by Charles, whom you know as Billy Ocean.
Billy Ocean – About The Artist
Billy Ocean was born on 21st January 1950 in Fryzabad, Trinidad and Tobago. Rhythm & Blues and Soul, but also pop track made the singer-songwriter famous worldwide. At the age of ten, he moved to London. He was contracted as a musician in very early years already, but after playing in some bands, he started going solo in the mid-1970’s. Even though he had some success in this time with singles – for example with Love Really Hurts Without You, which was second in the UK charts in 1976 – his first four albums were a fail. His fifth album, Suddenly (1984), sold quite well though, due to some quite successful singles like Carribean Queen (No More Love on the Run) or Loverboy.
I would see his 1986 Love Zone as the peak of his career. Especially When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going was a massive hit worldwide. The following album Tear Down These Walls (1988) was driven Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car, which is still a popular airplay and party song. After a 1993 album, Ocean did not publish too many more record. Thre were two studio albums in 2009 and 2013, both with limited success. Thus, even though the album is released at his age of 70 year, One World is just the eleventh studio album by Billy Ocean.
Billy Ocean – One World – Track by Track
The twelve song album lasts 56 minutes.
1. We Gotta Find Love
One World starts with this fine and catching song. I might just enjoy it so much as it was quite a classic touch to me, could be an 1980’s one… Just with more rhythm. Definitely a good start.
2. Love You More
Love You More feels like the Caribbean, it feels like reggae, but also has this touch of blues. I feel it is a great song on the one hand, but on the other hand, it is not really fully catching me.
3. Feel The Love
While the first two songs have made their way to the digital platforms before the album, Feel the Love is the first really new song. I feel it is significantly weaker than the two songs before – which is bad luck, as I feel that the song itself is not too bad at all. I don’t like the very drum-centric arrangement, though.
4. One World
I haven’t listened to the title track of the album before – so I was really surprised how modern the song is, especially in the chorus and its beginning. Powerful, a strong rhythm, electric sound. Brothers and sisters, you know what I mean – a clear message to the audience.
5. When I Saw You
When I Saw You feels like a soul song. It is nice, but it is not special at all to me.
I was quite optimistic after listening to the first songs about the album – but Mystery illustrates the other side of One World: many instruments (an electric guitar solo as well as brass sounds), high speed, dominant drum computer sounds – so many elements which suppress the vocals and distract you from Billy Ocean. This song has definitely too many elements – and thus turns out to be rather poo.
7. Missing You Everyday
Yeah, you can argue that Missing You Everyday is too classic and thus maybe kind of outdated – but to me, it is a lovely example how beautiful Billy Ocean songs could still sound nowadays.
8. Can’t Stand The Pain
With Can’t Stand The Pain, the album stays in the range of straight arrangements, focusing on the vocals. The song is having a strong touch of blues and soul, I definitely enjoy it.
9. Betcha Don’t Know
I am a 1980’s fan – I grew up with the music – so if there is a sound nowadays which reminds me of that era, it just makes me smile. Betcha Don’t Know would likely not have been a chart-topper in that time, but it is a catching, melodic track. I miss the good, old times!
10. All Over The World
All Over The World is likely more in that Trinidad and Tobago style of Billy Ocean again. I enjoy the groove, the summer vibes. Not a bad song at all.
This part of the album feels to have more music I can relate to. Even though Daylight is again trying to merge different elements together and I in general don’t like that too much, it does not repel me as much as Mystery did.
12. Nothing Will Stand In Our Way
I was really hoping for a nice finish of the album. I just felt Billy Ocean deserved it that I have a happy memory of him after listening to One World. Luckily, Ocean does that… With the easy option: a catching, lovely ballad. Thank you!
Billy Ocean – One World – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Billy Ocean’s 2020 album:
Billy Ocean – One World – My View
There are so many elements in that album that made me smile. Finally, I feel kind of sorry that the rating is just in the upper average. Unfortunately, there are too many bad times in these good times of music as well. Billy Ocean shows his potential in this album, but fails to hold it over the whole twelve songs. Some tracks are just too experimental.