Ween – “Ocean Man” – Song Discussion

If you were a kid in 2004, you’ll remember the iconic film that was the Spongebob Squarepants movie. And if you stayed around long enough after it was over for the credits to roll, you’ll remember a specific song that plays right at the very end. The only lyric that I remember was “ocean man” and even though the tune would pop into my mind from time to time, it never stuck long enough to push me to figure out what song that was. So, for the longest time, I didn’t think it was actually a real song. But not only is “Ocean Man” indeed a real song, it’s a damn good one as well.

This track is probably the bands biggest hit and was released in the late 90s and what’s most interesting is that it’s a surprising tune to be released around that time. Sure we had artists like the Beach Boys throughout the 1960s and years beyond, and using a surf guitar tune or ukulele wasn’t necessarily a new concept at the time. But when it comes to this song, the band made it sound like a completely new concept. The song is also quote short, clocking in at just a tad bit over the two minute mark, but it manages to feel like the standard three and a half minute tracks we’re accustomed to. It’s perfectly bright and beachy feeling with a layering of what either sounds like a ukulele or acoustic guitars, with another fun distorted guitar during the bridge to shake things up. The lyrics are written with enough intricacy to be interesting, and they vocals that sing them are pitched deeper which give the song a vey unique touch.

Beyond just the cozy, nostalgia inducing feeling this song gives me, it really is just a fantastic song at its core. By the time the new century was about to roll around, I’m sure most people had forgotten about this type of music, but this track was such a breath of fresh air that I’m sure it brought surf rock back to the front of many peoples minds. Reworking something that’s already been done before often leads to nothing but “Ocean Man” still works now just as well as it did back then, showing not only it’s incredible production and delivery, but that its capability to stand against the test of time.


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