The Sea (Melanie C album)

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The Sea
Studio album by Melanie C
Released 2 September 2011
Recorded 2009-11
Genre
Length 47:34
Label
Producer
Melanie C chronology
This Time
(2007)
The Sea
(2011)
Stages
(2012)
Singles from The Sea
  1. "Rock Me"
    Released: 24 June 2011
  2. "Think About It"
    Released: 4 September 2011
  3. "Weak"
    Released: 6 November 2011
  4. "Let There Be Love"
    Released: 2 December 2011

The Sea is the fifth studio album by English recording artist Melanie C. Made under her own independent record label Red Girl Records, the album marks her first new material in four years, since the reunion with the Spice Girls and giving birth to her first child.

Preceding the album's release, promotional single, and lead single on the German version, "Rock Me" was released for digital download worldwide (and as well as a physical single in Germany, Austria and Switzerland) on 24 June 2011. The single serves as the official song of the popular German TV Network ZDF's media coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The music video for lead single "Think About It", premiered on 15 July 2011 on her official website and was simultaneously sent to radio stations in the UK.

Recording and production[edit]

The album was recorded in London. Chisholm talked about her inspirations and goals for this record:

"I'm very excited about the record because, it's quite diverse in styles. I've worked with lots of new writers, people I haven't worked with before. There's still very much a pop element, and I've got some lovely ballads, some rock inspired tracks, some more dancey stuff, some acoustic stuff, and production wise there are some very atmospheric moments. So I really think it's going to be a diverse and stronger album. When I started working with this album, I really didn't know what I wanted to achieve, so I wanted to be ambitious and experiment, work with new people, and try on different styles of music. And through doing that I really discovered the way I wanted to express myself and the sound I wanted to create. All that has made it become quite diverse, and it's funny because I suppose my first studio album Northern Star is probably the most similar to this record in that it does have loads of different styles although it is fundamentally a pop record."[1]

Concept and artwork[edit]

Regarding the concept of The Sea, Chisholm said in a video interview on YouTube that, the album is cohesively experimental mixing many different genres/styles of music into one unified pop album with electronic undertones, therefore naming it The Sea, which ecomphases the many species who inhabit beneath the oceans surface. Mel has also described the album as being both harmonic and euphoric in feeling. The cover, which depicts Chisholm standing and emerging from the sea, was photographed on location in Whitby, North Yorkshire.[2]

Cover photography is by Pip who also provides a couple of the inner location photographs. Additional booklet photography is by long-term collaborator Ray Burmiston. The sleeve is by Ian Ross who also designed Chisholm's two previous solo albums, Beautiful Intentions and This Time.

Composition[edit]

Chisholm stated that she worked with a lot of new writers / producers for this album, where she tended to work with the same writers for her previous records, notably Adam Argyle, who co-wrote some material for this record. The album was co-written /produced with the likes of Starsailor's James Walsh, Guy Chambers, and Spice/Spiceworld producer Richard Stannard, Andy Chatterley (both of whom have worked with artists such as Kylie Minogue, amongst others). Chisholm also worked with the Swedish Cutfather producing team. The album has acoustic moments, as well as some rock-driven songs and upbeat dance records.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Focus 4/5 stars[4]
Express (favorable)[5]
musicOMH 2/5 stars[6]
OK! Magazine 3/5 stars[7]
Liverpool Echo (favorable)[8]
Sunday Mercury (favorable)[9]

The album received a positive reaction from most music critics. Jon O'Brien wrote positively for Allmusic that "The Sea is still a huge leap forward from her past three efforts, and had it been released as the follow-up to Northern Star, rather than 12 years down the line, it could possibly have sustained her initial solo success."[3] O'Brien, who rated it three-and-a-half out of five stars, went to praise the tracks "Think About It" and "Stupid Game", which he considered "bombastic Katy Perry/Kelly Clarkson-esque pop/rock anthems which prove she can still compete with those who were barely in their teens during the peak of Spicemania, while the grandiose "Get Out of Here" sounds like Muse's cover of "Feeling Good" crossed with a John Barry's James Bond score."[3] Pip Elwood from the "Entertainment Focus" was also positive, rating it four out of five stars. He wrote that "The Sea is a strong release from Melanie and one that could return her to her former chart glory. (...) "The Sea is a consistent collection of pop gems that should score her another big hit.".[4] Ben Weisz from musicOMH was more negative, rating it two out of five stars, and writing: "Mel C takes on too many forms, stretching herself too thin to be effective in any of them. One or two tracks mark out future directions worth pursuing, but they are few and far between on an album which won't rock any boats.".[6] Simon Gage wrote favorably for Express that "This new album, her first in four years, gives that voice a real workout from power ballads and rock-outs to dancefloor fillers."[5] OK! Magazine wrote that "The Sea is easily her most ambitious album yet, blending rock, pop and maybe the tiniest hint of electro."[7] Jade Wright from Liverpool Echo wrote a favorable review, stating that "Mel C proves it’s about being real – there’s no saccharine sweetness, no femme fatale, just a take-me-as-you-see me attitude that shines through. The Sea makes for a good listen, whether you’re a fan or not."[8] Nick Harries from Sunday Mercury wrote a very positive review, declaring that the singer "cue a set with something for everyone – dance pop (Think About It); Alanis angst (Beautiful Mind); songwriter chic (One By One); 1980s electrobeat (Stupid Game); radio rock (All About You) – and the ballistic big finish (all eight minutes of Enemy). Best is the title track opener, with its minor key melody and drumbeat drama.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Sea.

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Sea"  
Andy Chatterley 4:51
2. "Weak"  
Chatterley 3:24
3. "Think About It"  
  • Adam Argyle
  • Daniel Davidsen
  • Jason Gill
  • Chisholm
  • Mich Hansen
  • Cutfather
  • Davidsen
  • Gill
3:47
4. "Beautiful Mind"  
  • Dee Adam
  • James Earp
  • Chisholm
Chatterley 3:41
5. "One by One"  
Greg Hatwell 4:06
6. "Stupid Game"  
Chatterley 3:20
7. "All About You"   Peter-John Vettese 4:01
8. "Burn"  
  • Argyle
  • Davidsen
  • Gill
  • Chisholm
  • Hansen
  • Cutfather
  • Davidsen
  • Gill
4:00
9. "Drown"  
  • Argyle
  • Jodi Marr
  • Chisholm
Chatterley 3:59
10. "Get Out of Here"  
  • Chisholm
  • Vettese
Vettese 4:10
11. "Enemy"  
  • Hatwell
  • Chisholm
  • Chatterley
  • Hatwell
8:12
Total length:
47:34

German edition

B-sides[edit]

Title Single
"Stop This Train" "Rock Me" – German CD, digital download
"Cruel Intentions" "Think About It" – UK CD, German CD, digital download
"Stronger" "Weak" – UK CD, digital download / "Let There Be Love" – German CD, digital download
"Too Soon" "The Sea Live" – DVD

There are two other songs released during "The Sea" Era: "Blue Skies All The Way" and "Paris Burning".

Singles[edit]

  • "Rock Me" was released for digital download worldwide on 24 June 2011. The single (not officially released as a single in the UK) serves as the official song of the popular German channel ZDF's coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup. The music video for "Rock Me" premiered on Chrisholm's YouTube channel on 7 June 2011.[11] The single reached the Top 40 on the German Singles Chart and was featured in the UK as a b-side on the "Think About It" CD single.
  • The lead international single, "Think About It" premiered in the form of a music video premiere held on MelanieC.net on 15 July 2011. The single was released on 4 September 2011 and charted within the Top 100 of the UK Singles Chart at number 95. The track also went Top 10 on the Canadian Physical Singles chart (number 6) and Top 40 in both Austria (number 34) and Switzerland (number 30; also number 16 in the Swiss Radio Airplay Chart) and in Poland number 35 on radio airplay chart. The single peaked at number 15 on the Official UK Indie singles charts.
  • In the UK, "Weak" was released as the album's official second single and was released on 6 November 2011. Whilst it failed to chart within the UK top 100, it did peak at number 29 on the UK Indie Singles Chart and at #50 on UK Radio Airplay Chart, her highest appearance on the chart since her 2003 single "Melt".[12]
  • In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Warner Music released "Let There Be Love" as the third single from the album on 2 December 2011. The song did not hit the Top 100 in the three countries.[12]

Charts[edit]

Charts (2011) Peak
position
Austrian Albums Chart[13] 38
German Albums Chart[14] 16
Swiss Albums Chart[15] 13
UK Albums Chart[16] 45
UK Digital Albums Chart[17] 29
UK Indie Albums Chart[18] 6

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Austria[19] 2 September 2011 Warner Music / 313 Music
Croatia[19]
Czech Republic[19]
Germany[20]
Serbia[19]
Slovakia[19]
Slovenia[19]
Switzerland[19]
Denmark[19] 5 September 2011 Warner Music
Finland[19]
Norway[19]
Sweden[19]
United Kingdom[21] Red Girl Records
United States
Poland[22] 31 October 2011 Warner Music
Turkey[23] 12 December 2011 Warner Music / EMI Turkey

References[edit]

  1. ^ Melanie C - Rock Me Interview on YouTube
  2. ^ "An update from Melanie & 'The Sea' preview 5: 'Drown'". MelanieC.net. 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  3. ^ a b c d O'Brien, Jon (6 September 2011). "The Sea - Melanie C - Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Elwood, Pipa. "Melanie C - The Sea - Entertainment Focus". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gage, Simon (2 September 2011). "Express.co.uk - ALBUM REVIEW - MELANIE C: THE SEA". Express. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Weisz, Ben. "Melanie C - The Sea - album review - musicOMH". musicOMH. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "OK! Magazine - Review: Melanie C, The Sea". OK! Magazine. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Wright, Jade. "Melanie C - The Sea - album review - Liverpool Echo". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Harries, Nick. "Melanie C - The Sea - album review - Sunday Mercury". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - The Sea by Melanie C". Itunes.apple.com. 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  11. ^ Melanie C - Rock Me (Music Video) on YouTube
  12. ^ a b "New Singles: 'Weak' & 'Let There Be Love'". MelanieC.net. 2011-09-21. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "Melanie C - The Sea". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Melanie C - The Sea". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  16. ^ "Official Albums Chart UK Top 100 - 28th June 2014 | The UK Charts | Top 40". Theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  17. ^ "UK Album Downloads Top 40 - 28th June 2014". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  18. ^ "Independent Albums Top 40 - 28th June 2014 Independent Albums Chart". Theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Melanie C talks about her fifth album 'The Sea' on YouTube
  20. ^ "The Sea: Melanie C: Amazon.de: Musik". Amazon.de. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  21. ^ "The Sea: Melanie C: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  22. ^ "Warner Music Poland". Warnermusic.pl. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  23. ^ "The Sea - Melanie C". Emikent.com.tr. Retrieved 2014-06-28.