Midnight Oil

Breathe - Columbia 1996

Tracks: 1. Underwater / 2. Surf's Up Tonight / 3. Common Ground / 4. Time To Heal / 5. Sins Of Omission / 6. One Too Many Times / 7. Star Of Hope / 8. In The Rain / 9. Bring On The Change / 10. Home / 11. E-beat / 12. Barest Degree / 13. Gravelrash


1996 album "Breathe" followed the fine, but overlooked album "Earth, Sun and Moon"; maybe the band took this relative failure as hint that a change of musical direction was needed. The previous albums had been very polished and well-produced; "Breathe" has a simpler production. At times quite raw as on tracks like "Surf's Up Tonight", which reminds me of Alex Chilton. Other tracks are almost pure acoustic, and the album is often described as their softest and most folky.

Maybe so; most important, I think, is that fine new songs are there. The raw simplicity of the haunting "Surf's Up Tonight" may make this song the first you really notice; but soon many others are bound to grow on you. The soft and quiet "Home" featuring Emmylou Harris is just beautiful. "Time to Heal" may be the track that comes closest to the sound of "Earth, Sun and Moon" - great song. Other outstanding songs are "E-Beat" and "One Too Many Times". Could turn out to be their most enduring album.

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