Port Blue
The Airship


4.0
excellent

Review

by FlawedPerfection EMERITUS
May 18th, 2008 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Well executed electronica concept album that sounds like Eluvium with beats.

For a long time, the transoceanic journey marked the pinnacle of world travel. First by ship and later by air, explorers etched their names in history: Christopher Columbus, Leif Erikson, Zheng He, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart. The airship effectively ended the remarkable power of these journeys, however. In 1929, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, the most advanced German airship in creation, not only performed the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean but also flew around the entire globe successfully. The concept of the airship as a means of traveling long distances ended after the tragic crash of the LZ 129 Hindenburg in 1937. But the idea of major airship flight is kept alive through organizations like the Puget Sound Airship Society. The society argues that the “[a]dvances in technology and the abundance of helium make the airship more practical than ever.” Indeed, the United States brought the Hindenburg to its tragic end by refusing to sell helium to the Nazi government. Thus, the Nazis fueled the airship with explosive hydrogen without putting in the necessary fireproof elements in place in a rush to get the ship in the air.

Another supporter of the airship is Adam Young, as demonstrated by his 2007 electronica album The Airship under the moniker of Port Blue. The album envisions a journey from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Sydney, Australia and a tour through the luxuriant aircraft through warm, melodic electronica. Imagine Nobuo Uematsu’s Final Fantasy piano compositions transposed to synth strings and electric piano with fresh production and drum machines to complement the melodic aspect of the music. This combination gives the perfect sense of floating over a blue ocean with sunlight reflecting off its surface.

In Young’s pacing and compositional style, The Airship is somewhat formulaic. His songs build organically, stating the chord progression and main melodic theme, and just before these ideas get tired, a driving rhythmic drum beat propels the song forward. Layers continue to add in, and the instrumentation changes slightly while still playing the same theme or possibly a slight variation. While indeed formulaic, it produces exceptional results. He masks his compositional style by making each song’s instrumentation and atmosphere different each time, from the piano led “Up Ship!” to the floating organ tones of “In the Control Car.” The drum beats vary from the simple hip-hop groove in “The Grand Staircase” to the jazzy rimshots in “Arrival at Sydney Harbor.” Between the variety in instrumentation and style and the similarities in pacing, Young manages to create an album as cohesive as it is varied.

Of course, the most profound and fulfilling aspect of The Airship is its ability to truly convey the sense of floating in the air, traveling in a luxuriant airship across the ocean. Ambient sounds hide behind the gorgeous melodic material, bookended by the lifting off sounds in “Up Ship!” and the sound of footsteps straight from your Casio keyboard in “At Anchor.” Regardless of the basic footstep sample, the palette of sounds creates a beautiful, ethereal mix of colors. The Graf Zeppelin could not have any better accompaniment for its long journey than the music of Port Blue.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
March 16th 2008


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hai guys I'm FlawedPerfection. I don't know if you remember me, but I remember you.

Aficionado
March 16th 2008


1027 Comments


Very nice review, Tyler. At first I was wondering what the purpose of the intro was until I reached the conclusion, where you wrapped things up well. Good stuff.

oh and this looks interesting, so I might check it out.This Message Edited On 03.16.08

Doppelganger
March 17th 2008


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was just listening to the FF8 soundtrack and I saw Nobuo Uematsu so I was sold from the start.

Kingofdudes
March 17th 2008


294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whoah I can actually log into sputnik now.



I actually make the same Nobuo comparison when I listen to this as well. I really dig this album a lot, been listening to it a lot while doing homework lately.



I think some of my tracks may be labeled wrong My track #4 is called Mr Chen, Sailmaker. I did download this though from some blog so that may be why.

Willie
Moderator
May 19th 2008


17609 Comments


This sounds really cool. I'll have to look for it after work.

dub sean
May 19th 2008


1000 Comments


When did underground electronica gain such a huge following?

MassiveAttack
June 6th 2008


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't find this anywhere and I love electronica + i love eluvium ++ = awesomeness !!!

MassiveAttack
March 4th 2009


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

finally got to this and I must agree with most if not all of your points! Thanks for the review, wouldn't of discovered them if it wasn't for it.

natey
June 16th 2009


4190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so I got this recommended to me from an Owl City fan (also Adam Young) who loves his All Time Low and Bring Me The Horizon. This kid knew I'm a "post-rock-nut" though and figured I'd dig this. Surprised to say this is pretty glorious, as is his newer Albatross EP

qwer7yfreak
June 1st 2010


486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's kind of amazing how much better this is compared to Adam Young's more popular project, Owl City.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 15th 2010


16295 Comments


haha this is owl city

DSharpMinor
March 25th 2011


7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Beautiful album, easily one of my favourites.

ITsHxCTOASTER
May 25th 2011


2520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The new Owl City is shit. It's reminding me of how awesome this is

WashboardSuds
June 5th 2011


5101 Comments


this is badass. so much better than owl city

ITsHxCTOASTER
June 13th 2011


2520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

More people need to listen to Port Blue. There are a tragically low amount of ratings for his two albums.

WashboardSuds
June 13th 2011


5101 Comments


agreed

theboynamedpink
November 11th 2011


14 Comments


Wow, this is so good! Perfect study music

TheGardener
March 26th 2012


150 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is perfect. I may be the only person on this site who enjoys Adam Young's other projects but this is probably his best work.

ITsHxCTOASTER
March 26th 2012


2520 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is so good

scissorlocked
March 28th 2012


3528 Comments


smooth album



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