Compared to the previous Amarok, Heaven's Open is far less experimental and clearly more conventional. But this is not necessarily a bad thing though! This album has the same structure as albums like Five Miles Out, Crisis and Islands in that half of the album consists of shorter songs while the other half is one longer piece.
Heaven and the Sea isn't quite as dance-oriented as Pete Shelley's first two albums, nor does it have the nervous pop energy that was a hallmark of those records and his work with the Buzzcocks. Instead, it's a layered and textured release, given a polished, mature production which ironically only emphasizes the lack of notable songs. There are a handful of relatively strong cuts on the record, but even they don't match the high points of its two predecessors.