Blaine Campbell – Under The Tidal Wave (review)

By David Beard

Blaine Campbell Music

Although Under The Tidal Wave is not the first album to be released by Blaine Campbell, it’s the first time he’s come across my radar. 

Blaine contacted me just before going to press with the Winter 2019 edition of Endless Summer Quarterly [ESQ] expressing that he wanted to purchase ad space, so we managed to place a black and white half-page ad on page 5 of that issue, but I still hadn’t heard any of his recordings, but I did like the Brian Wilson-toned vibe of the album cover. I was intrigued.

Blaine was kind enough to autograph two LPs and mail them to my care for ESQ giveaways, with each LP coming with a digital download card for digital consumption. When I finally got around to listening to Under The Tidal Wave (in January) I was stunned.

Blaine Campbell is an example of a recording artist that has the natural ability of musical immersion … blues, bossa nova, ragtime, doo-wop, ska, surf guitar … all-around knowledge of all things musical and the ability to use music for communicating.

The fact that Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys are one of his most prolific and inspirational influences provides an audio backdrop that seems to carry all the sentiment, whimsy, disillusionment, heartbreak, isolation, and exploratory elements (on the level of Pet Sounds and SMiLE) needed to record and release something as artistically colorful and expansive as Under The Tidal Wave, and there are even moments where I hear Curt Boettcher (Millennium) and Gary Usher (Sagittarius) influences.

It’s an added plus that Brian Wilson band members Probyn Gregory and Jim Laspesa are both on board for the excursion, and speaks to the level of artistry therein.

While each recording has its own “feel,” special mention goes to: “Happy Faces,” “Blue Dolphin,” “It Feels Like It’s Real,” “Where She Used To Play,” “Caroline’s Rainbow” and “Time To Say Goodbye.”

In a sense, this is the album I didn’t know I was waiting for, but now that it’s arrived, I can’t stop listening. I could go song by song, but that doesn’t really fit Under The Tidal Wave; it’s a revelation.

(above, l-r) The California Sound: Natalie Fratino, David Cook, Blaine Campbell, and Chris Moore

©2020 David Beard/All Rights Reserved


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5 months ago

Blaine Campbell’s best album yet! I love it!

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