January , 2014
Review by Vinny Cecolini
Sons of the Sea
Label: AVOW Records
Why do some artists fail when they step away from established bands to pursue solo careers? Why are some artists' 'side-projects' met with indifference? The answer is simple. Although it's understandable that some artists need to cleanse their creative palettes, they often head off only to compose similar, and often tired, sounds and styles of music. That is only one reason, however, why Sons of The Seas' self-titled debut succeeds.
Although credited to both Incubus singer Brandon Boyd (whose band is on hiatus) and producer Brendan O'Brien, Sons of the Sea is essentially Boyd's solo debut, but sounds little like the band responsible for "Pardon Me" and "Drive."
The second reason why this self-titled debut succeeds is its 10 infectiously catchy, uplifting and relaxing tracks, each a warm embrace during these brutal winter months; the perfect escape to sunny summer shores (even if it's only in your imagination). Critics have favorably compared Sons of the Sea to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Harry Nilsson, but the duo actually channel their adoration for a variety of pop and melodic rock periods into songs that sometimes ventures into Prog (the hits waiting to happen "Space and Time" and "Great Escape") and R&B ("Come Together," which could give Maroon Five a run for their money). Although the moving power ballad "Avalanche" would be a great closer for most records, that distinction is given to the disc's lone cover, an upbeat, reverent reimagining of Leonard Cohen's "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" that will leave listeners humming its chorous long after the disc is returned to its case.
Hopefully, once Incubus resumes, this effort will not be discarded as a vanity project. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a long, fruitful collaborative relationship between Boyd and O'Brien. Hopefully, this great debut is only the beginning.