Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Ghosties

Kate Parker Adams kate@dnki.net
Wed, 06 Aug 2003 12:52:09 -0400

I love both later albums, but for different reasons.

Second Skin is a masterpiece of musical texture and fine variations of 
mood, melding varied but not incompatible styles into what I find to be an 
interesting journey of the spirit through the depths of darkness and up and 
out again. (read the titles of the first several cuts up through "salvage 
me" and "I come to my senses" ...)  In that sense, it almost feels like two 
albums, not one.

Fibromoon has an entirely different character.  The first time I downloaded 
the .mp3 of "Long Time Dead" and played it on my subwoofer-equipped office 
sound system, the door and interior window vibrated so much that my 
returning officemate wondered if we were having an earthquake! Neat effect 
that, and reproducible. It is a very versatile album too, equally suitable 
for an overnight trip by train from Boston to D.C. and for bouncing an SUV 
over the dirt roads of the basin-and-range badlands of the high desert of 
central Oregon.  I noticed then that there was a certain buried country 
swing in certain cuts, particularly "Lie Very Still", that fit with the 
turns and rises and bumps of travelling in such "the good-the bad-the ugly" 
territory.  It also kept the small inmates passive during a four-hour drive 
to the nearest fast-food (or any food, really), reading their books about 
volcanos and fossils after a morning exploring painted gulches and dry 
basins, juniper so strong everything in our suitcases smelled of it when we 
returned east.

When he was four, my younger son listed it when he laboriously wrote out 
his favorite things in green crayon on a preschool project.  "Favorite 
Song: Fibrmooon"  It may have been overtaken by White Stripes this last 
spring, but he still loves it nonetheless.

As for the first album, the three pack I got for Xmas contained a second 
copy of Second Skin and not the promised self-titled album.  On that trip 
west, however, I did have trouble getting one song I downloaded for free 
out of my head when I toured my childhood haunts: "Nothing's happened in my 
home town - since the blinds came down - air conditioned so there's no one 
outside".  About it.

At 06:01 PM 8/5/2003 +0200, you wrote:
>Agree....second skin is fantastic!
>What do you mean #4? Album not realeased yet????
>-----Original Message-----
>From: powderworks-admin@cs.colorado.edu
>[mailto:powderworks-admin@cs.colorado.edu] On Behalf Of [name removed]
>Sent: 05 August 2003 07:49
>To: powderworks@cs.colorado.edu
>Subject: [Powderworks] Ghosties
>Here is my little review of Ghosties records...
>First album (Ghostwriters 1991)..
>A really good fun album, bunch of mates going for it
>in the studio for a few days. Good songs, dated
>production (though i don't think great production was
>the idea). Hit Potential: (High) people love catchy pop
>2nd album (Second Skin 1996)
>This is no longer a side project!!!
>I have to say this has to be one of the greatest
>sounding albums ever made! that rhythm section
>is just huge. Rob really plays with his vocals on this
>one (no doubt after the first record being canned as
>sounding like Midnight Oil demos) the jury is out if it
>works all the time. I remember playing this record
>when it came out to friends and everyone thinking
>this was a new Nick Cave record (the first line of 'International Rules
>Of Love' really sounds like saint Nick). Also i have never met a person
>who upon hearing 'Impossible Shame' for the first time did not go "FUCK!
>that is a amazing song!" The songs are great the whole album through and
>the sound of everything is just incredible, all the usual faults i find
>in most albums is not here ie...cymbals too bright, bad bass sound, not
>enough snare! it's as good as CD's get this one and even though it's a
>hard one to swallow is very much worth the ride! Hit Potential (in a
>perfect world would be High sadly this is not the case).
>3rd album (Fibromoon 1999)
>Rob sings with his true voice!!!
>Rob really nails his vocals and delivery on this one
>(the combination of James Cadsky's use of an old
>radio broadcast mike with his Manly Vox box only help
>make the lead vocals sweeter). The songs are once
>again great (can Rob really write a bad song these
>days?). Sadly the problem is the great sounding
>   band tracks are not to be heard on this one, they are
>all played and recorded just as great as on Second
>Skin though fall flat in the mix (with the possible
>exception of 'Ready Steady Go' though even this mix
>does not match the Second Skin ones). All of this may
>sound anal to most though why have the "Shit Hot
>Rhythm Section!" if you can't hear it?
>I myself was at some of these sessions and heard
>how amazing the recorded tracks sounded (Great
>World really blowing my mind, if you just imagine one
>of the worlds most amazing bass lines ever in there
>too, you might find it hiding in your woofer!).Though
>there is still much to be found of worth on this record
>Neon Garden, Last Plane Out, Why Am I Not
>Surprised, Great World and Cold Heart are my
>personal highlights. I really dig that 12 string acoustic
>sound on 'Lie Very Still' (it's played through Rob's Vox
>A30 to make it sound like a fat electric guitar!).
>That's my spin on the Ghosties stuff!
>p.s. the new album (#4) i heard over two years ago
>and sounds great with Rob and Paul Greene's voices
>together (i do think it's a shame Rob wont try an chirp
>up anymore as he claims his voice has dropped big
>time, though Paul covers this nicely). The Cello on
>'When Gods Not Busy' is to die for!!!.
>                                        Damien.
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