After his schooling in England, Bernard Oattes spent two years with a local Dutch band, Steam. The band was the catalyst that brought Bernard and writer/producer Rob van Schailk together. As partners, Bernard and Rob were the founding members of the pop band The Limit, writing and producing international dance hits. Bernard composed music for other pop-orientated groups, but writing and producning dance material alone became "limiting." Feeling a need to recognize and expand his own ideas, Bernard focused on the creation of his first album, Frame By Frame. The eleven compositions on this album combine rich vocal harmonies with smooth rhythms, and features Bernard both as lead vocalist and as multi-instrumentalist/arranger. The songs deal with a diversity of topics ranging from human emotion to threats to the environment. Some chronicle the paradoxical roles of love as both battleground and sanctuary. There are references to his love of planes and the sky, as well as a fascination with the Kennedy assasination, still other lyrics are influenced by his life experiences. Bernard touches on common themes as well as novel ones, alway bringing a unique and optimistic perspective.
The Dutch Muziekkrant Oor, the Netherlands equivalent to Rolling Stone, praised the album by saying, "It contains sophisticated pop, blue eyed soul and crossover jazz, reminiscent of the work of Michael Franks, Steely Dan and Ben Sidran. In spite of his dreamy romanticism, Bernard Oattes has both feet firmly on the ground. This is evident from his romantic vocal performance, while showing a well defined evniromental consciousness in his lyrics. Frame By Frame is a sympathetic solo debut, with an international potential that should not be underestimated." It was released in the U.S. in August, 1992 and was widely accepted by NAX/AA Radio. Ultimately, the album made it into the Top 5 of R&R, Gavin and the Mac Report.
Soul Detective is the eagerly awaited second album by Bernard Oattes. The album features Peter White on guitar and Richard Elliot on saxophone. Bernard has been working in Holland for the last few years and this album is sure to be another radio chart topper. Soul Detective captures the smooth and sexy sounds that distinguish Bernard from other male vocalists. It is a mixure of sophisticated adult music, blue-eyed soul and smooth contemporary jazz.
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