Blue Ocean Floor - Single (2015)
Review By Catherine Lewis
April 30, 2015
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A cappella covers of Justin Timberlake are fairly commonplace, but the Italian mixed sextet Domino vocal group puts a haunting spin on this pop icon by covering his Blue Ocean Floor, an oblique love song that hints at a suicide pact.
Domino vocal group makes the song dreamy rather than dreary, though. There's a lush, pointed harmony on the word "silence" in the chorus that is anything but silent; the layered, staggered lines around the word "heartbeat" mimic a pulse, and the lead soars so clear and so high that it's hard to hear any despair in his voice.
What makes Domino vocal group's recording worth hearing is not the group's interpretation of the song's meaning, however — Timberlake's original isn't especially gloomy, and Domino vocal group doesn't revolutionize the tone or presentation of the song. But the group does sing it beautifully, drawing attention to words and moments in the song through phrasing and harmonies, and adds texture through the arrangement written by group member Lorenzo Subrizi.
Domino vocal group's recording is over six minutes long, but it doesn't feel that lengthy: the group adds and subtracts layers to give the song a beautiful, oceanic ebb and flow that keeps the momentum moving for its full duration. It's a beautiful, shimmering interpretation of an unlikely cover, and those who aren't already familiar with Domino vocal group will certainly want to seek out more of the group's music after hearing Blue Ocean Floor.