Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Lighthouse Family 'Ocean Drive'

Chart Peak: 11 (34 in 1995)


Maybe the trouble with the Lighthouse Family wasn't so much that they were actually that bad. They just seemed to be utterly inescapable in the second half of the decade, although their career barely made it into this one.
In fact, I seem to remember hearing 'Ocean Drive' around the time it became their first Top 40 hit in late 1995 and actually thinking it was OK. But this re-release followed their breakthrough hit 'Lifted' and paved the way for what felt like an endless run of indistinguishable, glossy, self-consciously uplifting anthems that all seemed to sell in huge quantities to people who didn't really seem to like music. Was I being a snob here? Well, maybe, but I wasn't making it up.

'Ocean Drive' is, I think, their least bad single, distinguished by a soaring trumpet solo. And whilst it's never going to be my favourite record, in a different universe I might have been able at least to appreciate it as well put together. It suffers a little from the comparison with the above Crowded House track though - there's none of the complexity in this one, so all you get is the platitudes. The sound is too slick, and it never really seems to recognise the darkness of the situation it's trying to talk you out of, so it feels like an empty gesture, just telling you you'll get over it without persuading you.

Also appearing on:
Now 33, 38, 39, 40, 41, 50
Available on: Ocean Drive

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