Reviewed by Gareth Hills
The 10th album from the well-established singer/songwriter, wears the CCM label a little too well - the top-notch production, the reverb-drenched guitars and anthemic, though not too original choruses. Yet despite the slick production, is a wealth of accomplished songwriting - Norman seems to excel at that rare art of capturing a genuine outpouring of emotion, whether it be desperation ("God Of My Everything") or praise (the title track) and encapsulating it perfectly within a song which remains pleasurably listenable, while never losing its raw edge. This is a very good thing, as 'Ocean' is, at times, a dark album. "Could You Ever Look At Me", is an achingly beautiful example of this. While musically the album has a commercial veneer, Norman makes great use of instrumentation. The repeating piano motif which holds "We Fall Apart" together, or the glockenspiel on "Sing Over Me", for instance. 'Ocean' is a great example of raw, honest songwriting, and the many layers found within will reward repeated listening.
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