The Spinners

Ocean Drive (Lighthouse Family, 1996)

In British, Glenn Ituriaga, Pop on February 2, 2010 at 4:14 am

Memories are fragments. Seldom do we remember an event in its entirety, even the most vivid ones. Those missing pieces, however, make us want to remember them more. They make us yearn to come back, to relive them as complete as possible. Here is where music comes in. It helps us remember. We hear a simple tune and it magically drowns us into nostalgia. We return to that place and time. This song was playing during prom night. This song was in the airwaves during graduation. They played this song in a friend’s funeral. Sometimes we associate a song with an event even when there’s no reasonable connection, just because it happens to be there, at exactly that point in time.

Lighthouse Family make that kind of music. Maybe because their music is so accessible, so familiar, that it easily connects with the moment. This is what sets the duo apart from the other jazz/easy listening groups. Ocean Drive, the duo’s first studio album, introduces us to their version of easy listening. There’s something about Tunde Baiyewu’s baritone that lingers in the mind, and something about Paul Tucker’s songwriting that feels spiritual that when they blend, it strikes a chord of indelible memory.

Its first single, “Lifted”, soars in positivity and hope, a trait supported by the other singles (“Ocean Drive”, “Goodbye Heartbreak”). While some songs have a slower and mellower air (“What Could Be Better”, “Beautiful Night”), they never stray from the overall positive theme. Lighthouse Family itself may be a memory now, but they already laid the groundwork to anchor many others.

– Glenn Ituriaga

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