The Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart (CD)

The Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart

The Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart / 2005 YepRoc / 15 Tracks / http://www.go-betweens.net / http://www.yeproc.com / Reviewed 09 May 2005

“Here Comes A City” shows a band that is well-versed in the old forms of rock, having vocals reminiscent of Mick Jagger even as the music has a cousin in “China Girl”. What is immediately striking about The Go-Betweens is the fullness of their songs. “Finding You” is a perfect example of this, as listeners are keyed into a very emotive bass, guitars (which gradually fuzz in and out) along with the distinct vocals. Just like youth soccer, everyone in The Go-Betweens is given a shot. The sing-songy nature of “Born To A Family” may see ma little melodramatic to some, but it is again Adele’s bass lines on this track that rescue the track from those ironic indie-rockers, making the track functional. Looking towards a more contemporary sound, The Go-Betweens move their entire operations to the latest day of the eighties with their Pet Shop Boys-sounding “No Reason To Cry”. The dreamy, slightly ethnic sounding of the instrumentation of “no Reason To Cry” really seems proper in this earlier period of music, and it is only through The Go-Between’s masterful hands that this track does not sound dated in the least.

“Boundary Rider” seems to be the first track on “Oceans Apart” that has a completely contemporary type of sound; this is not to say that it is not influenced in the least by earlier bands. The vocals on the track will draw listeners in and keep them compelled throughout. The simplistic sound of this track, largely lead by synths and guitars, only showcases the vocals more. “Lavender” has rich instrumentals that play well off the Warren Zevon-like vocals that dominate this track, which will make listeners pain in remembrance of the fallen giant. Each of the tracks on “Oceans Apart” maintain a sort of austere dignity that only being in a band for over twenty-five years can offer; there are few mistakes or errors of judgment to be found on this disc.

“Oceans Apart” is the direction in which pop should go; the rich instrumentation with intelligent song structure will ensure that 20 years after the fact, this CD can be pulled out and not sound dated in the least. The band understandably sounds like a number of differing acts out on the current music scene (Bowie, Zevon, Rolling Stones), but they seem to also have influenced some of their younger counterparts (for example, “This Night’s For You” takes a very TMBG-like approach to lyrics.) The quality of “Oceans Apart” makes it fairly easy to see why this band has been on the top of the hill for so long.

Top Track:This Night’s For You

Rating: 6.8/10

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