K-R&B singer-songwriter, oceanfromtheblue (OFTB), gained recognition in 2020 with the release of his heavy low-fi EP Luv-fi 2020. After about half a year, he returns with his most personal project to date, Messages with title track “Talk! (Feat. MRSHLL).”
In a matter of days, the album made headlines. Being thrown into the public eye and onto everyone’s playlists, oceanfromtheblue clinched #1 on Apple Music R&B chart in Korea and made his way onto the cover on Spotify’s “TrenChill K-R&B” playlist, showcasing the album’s impact in the scene.
Messages embodies the warmest and brightest sides that oceanfromtheblue previously tried to hide away. The album consists of lively, charismatic tracks, covering every inch of love that the world has to offer: family, platonic friendships, and even romance. A track list full of gratitude and comfort, he creates a message to express the impact his experiences and feelings have had on his new, transformed outlook of the world.
A colorful collection of featured artists, each collaboration became incredibly meaningful not only to the discography, but to oceanfromtheblue himself. Beautiful harmonies and bright tones presented undeniable chemistry when releasing a variety of songs about impressionable stories. OFTB showcases his versatility with the use of vocal softness, roughness, falsetto, and undeniable authenticity.
“Dear” kicks off the ensemble with soft, dreamy piano in the background and a sentimental phone call with his mother to set a calming, honest tone. He voices his gratitude to his mother and expresses the love and appreciation he has for those who helped him gain strength. Mesmerizing vocal layering and lyrical melodies unveil raw genuineness.
The mellow ballad, “Stay,” pours out his sentiments while confessing feelings for a loved one. OFTB uses charming falsettos and vocal variation by using slow and sweet tones when describing moments spent with a loved one, but belts when explaining times of desperation for them. The track emphasizes the message that giving love can be more fulfilling than receiving love.
The title track “Talk! (Feat. MRSHLL)” demonstrates the simple act of having a conversation about even the most mundane moments in life, just to talk to the person you’re interested in. With modern pop-like influences and the implementation of acoustic guitar, the track gives off a very personal and authentic feel. Featuring artist MRSHLL flows well with oceanfromtheblue’s mellow tones, incorporating vibrant elements to give the track positive energy.
Following the bright title track comes a dreamy track, “Wings (Like Sisqo) [feat. Samuel Seo],” commemorating the memory of a friend that suddenly passed. The collaboration with Samuel Seo creates a beautiful balance of sadness and heartfelt memories to form complete harmony. The phrase “I can’t live without you like Sisqo” references the 90’s R&B track “Without you” by Sisqo (feat. Dru Hill).
“Tina” implements the use of gentle falsetto and minimal, jazzy arrangements to embody the feeling of wanting to know everything possible about the person you’re interested in. The track explains the process of falling in love in a wholesome, pure way. He sings about the process of slowly revealing feelings through kind actions and facial expressions.
“Heaven,” features a rich urban R&B feel that expresses the feelings of lost love. Intense beats and breathless verses emphasize the intensity of a past relationship. OFTB describes being so blinded by someone’s shortcomings, that it leads to a breakup. After parting ways and being left to face himself, all that remains are the good, pleasant memories as if the faults never existed. The irony of comparing the relationship to heaven stems from the inability to remember the drawbacks that led to the separation, creating an angelic delusion.
“Messages – Interlude” represents the entire meaning and theme of the album. A recording of an authentic conversation with his father combined with a soothing piano exhibits the comfort that loved ones can bring just by listening to their voices.
“For Myself” delivers a calm, acoustic melody to stress the importance of taking the time to love not only those around you, but yourself as well. After several trying moments of love, separation, communication, empathy, and comfort, OFTB recognizes that he can no longer put all of his energy only into others and will start focusing on himself. The track shows fans that they too have the opportunity to implement this practice into their own lives.
oceanfromtheblue included a gift for his overseas fans with the English version of the song “Tina (feat. BUMKEY).” BUMKEY’s sweet and smooth vocals complement the track to emphasize the theme of desiring all configurations of love.
The album beautifully highlights a side of oceanfromtheblue that fans have never seen before. His bright and sweet aura shines through every song to show the love and respect he shares with those around him. Each song embodies a person or feeling that he cherishes to give fans a collection of tracks that prove authentic love can be found various forms.
Make sure to stream Messages on all streaming platforms and check out the official visual videos below for “Talk! (Feat. MRSHLL)” and “Tina (feat. BUMKEY) – English Version.”