Midnight Oil - Breathe

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Sony Music
Catalog Number: DK 67882
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:21:00

Midnight Oil have crafted a dark, somewhat murky, surf album for the 90's with Breathe. This isn't the sun and sand of the Beach Boys, but more a surf album by way of Greenpeace horror stories. It could be said that the Oils have widened their scope beyond Australia and the issue of aborigines. Which isn't to suggest that every song on every past album has been about that issue, but of their last two or three, that was a main focus. While certainly the lyrics reflect current issues in their homeland, many are universal enough to be applicable anywhere.

"Underwater," the opening track, taps into the mermaid myth, suggesting something mysterious and unknown about the ocean - or maybe even something optimistic, yet out of reach. The ideal. This track, and the one following, "Surf's Up Tonight" are perhaps the brightest tracks musically.

Both of these tracks could be considered dance tracks - dance tracks of a decade ago. Which isn't to say the music is dated or that their sound hasn't been updated since the late 80's, but rather that there is that late 80's feel about them.

The Oils do explore different textures on this album, some rockers, some very gentle and acoustic based. Emmylou Harris guests on the delicate, emotional, sad "Home," helping making this one of the best tracks on the album.

Other stand outs are the first two, "E-beat," and the closing track, the all instrumental "Gravelrash."

"E-beat," while this is guitar led track, there is an parping keyboard phrase that just makes this track just this side of quirky. "Gravelrash" is another guitar led track and brings to mind the instrumental surf classics - "Pipeline" comes to mind.

As dark as this album is, it isn't unpleasant to listen to. MO haven't ever been a "happy pop" band, anyway (as far as I can recall).

I would recommend this disc to anyone who listens to music for something more than ear candy.

Underwater (5:02) / Surf's Up Tonight (3:05) / Common Ground (4:26) / Time To Heal (3:54) / Sins Of Omission (4:35) / One Too Many Times (3:27) / Star Of Hope (4:57) / In The Rain (2:28) / Bring On The Change (3:50) / Home (4:29) / E-Beat (4:32) / Barest Degree (3:09) / Gravelrash (3:27)

Peter Garrett - lead vocals
Bones Hillman - bass and vocals
Rob Hirst - drums and vocals
Jim Moginie - guitar, keyboards and vocals
Martin Rotsey - guitar


Malcolm Burn - guitars, organ, and bass
Emmylou Harris - vocals (#10)
Buddy Miller - guitar
Daryl Johnson - djembe
Ethan Allen - piano (#8)

Midnight Oil (1978)
Head Injuries (1979)
Bird Noises (1980)
Place Without A Postcard (1981)
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (1983)
Red Sails in the Sunset (1984)
Species Deceases (1985)
Diesel and Dust (1987)
Blue Sky Mining (1990)
Scream In Blue Live (1992)
Earth And Sun And Moon (1993)
Breathe (1996)
20,000 Watt RSL (1997)
Redneck Wonderland (1998)
The Real Thing (2000)
Capricornia (2002)
Best Of Both Worlds (2004)

Genre: Other

Origin AU

Added: August 5th 1997
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.midnight-oil.com
Hits: 842
Language: english


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