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Oceans Apart

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (161 ratings)
Oceans Apart album cover
Here Comes A City
Finding You
Born To A Family
No Reason To Cry
Boundary Rider
Darlinghurst Nights
The Statue
This Night's For You
The Mountains New Dellray
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 38:58

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Wondering Sound

Review 134

Elisabeth Vincentelli has written for publications as diverse as Entertainment Weekly and the Wire. She is the author of the books Abba Gold and Abba Treasures,...more »

The Go-Betweens, Oceans Apart
Label: Yep Roc Records / Redeye

The Go-Betweens 'reunion may not have made as much of a bang as, say, the Pixies', but since they got back together in 2000 after a decade-long hiatus, the Australian band has been pulling off an ever greater feat: It's been releasing noteworthy albums. The comeback CD, 2000's The Friends of Rachel Worth, recorded with members of Sleater-Kinney, was a pleasant surprise, and although 2003's Bright Yellow Bright Orange displayed an alarmingly dull side, Oceans… read more »

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They give alt/pop music a good name


Here Comes A City draws you in and Boundary Rider paints a picture and Dalinghurst Nights reminds you of a scene you've lived through. Highly recommended.

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Best Record of the Decade


This is my fave record of the decade except for maybe the Birth soundtrack, but that's a totally different kind of thing....the songs are just warm and don't waste your time.

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Their best effort


The Go-Betweens created some of the best pop songs around. Of all their albums, this one, their last, is the one I listen to the most (I can say the same thing about Abbey Road, the last Beatles release). Start with Born to a Family and Lavender. If you like those, try Boundary Rider and Darlinghurst Nights.

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Brilliant pop music...


...I think 'Darlinghurst Nights' is one of the best songs ever written. It reminds me of 'nights' in years in my past and never fails to put a lump in my throat!

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Kicking Myself


I'm kicking myself for not catching the GoBe's on their last tour before Grant's untimely passing. I thought this was one of the best albums of its release year.

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download it again


Emusic appears to have updated their files with files ripped from the remastered version of the CD (see http://www.go-betweens.org.uk/ dicussion forums for details) -- the levels on the original were much too high, esp. on later tracks, but I just redownloaded today & while the production is still way too punchy and in-your-face-loud for a GB album, it is a definite improvement on the previous version. i.e. you can now listen to it comfortably on headphones :) thanks emusic for the update.

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Not for everyone


Sounds good, but nothing special to pull me in. Of course I can see why this group has such a devoted fanbase. Good rock folk sound. But for some folks (like me) that's just not enough. UPDATE: OK, I'm feeling a bit guilty about my two star review. By folk rock standards, this really is good stuff. I just wish there was something to pull me in. Can't identify with any of these songs. Is that my fault? Maybe.

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Their best?


This might well be the Go-Betweens' best, most cohesive, and most coherent album, and if you know anything at all about them, that's saying something. Still Australia's best-kept rock secret to U.S. listeners more than 25 years into their career, their melodies have always seemed a bit precious and their lyrics a little off-putting with their Dylanesque scansion, but here, yes, as one emusic reviewer put it, it all comes together. Others have lauded "Darlinghurst Nights" and "Lavender," but check out the Alex Chilton backing vocals on "Finding You." An exquisite album.

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Stephen Connolly

Thanks to our friend in Munich I no longer blame emusic for the muddy sound on this record. It does make it tough to take except on headphones. Darlinghurst Nights is truly an epic track "always the traffic, always the lights". Docked a star for the wall of mud sound.

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Darlinghurst Nights


Stands alongside any GOB recordings and measures up. Robs songs , as always, are my favourites: here comes the city, born to a family, lavender, the mountains new dellray and the sublime Darlinghurst Nights.

eMusic Features


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By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

Ski Lodge's debut Big Heart opens with a jangle and a pout, a tumble of giddy guitars, a handclap drum track and frontman Andrew Marr sighing, "You don't have to be like me/ You don't have to make the same mistakes." And while the go-to easy critical reference point for this Brooklyn band has been another band with a Marr in it, Big Heart is more than a mere Manchester mimeograph. Its songs sway and… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Though it’s been two years since Bright Yellow Bright Orange, Oceans Apart is further proof that the Go-Betweens are still a going concern. It is their third recording since reuniting after a 12-year hiatus. The lineup is the same as the last time out: Songwriters and frontmen Robert Forster and Grant McLennan are joined once more by drummer Glenn Thompson, and bassist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist Adele Pickvance. In addition, there is a small wind and brass section on some tracks, and, for a change, no strings. The band dug into its past for this one, bringing in producer Mark Wallis, who helmed the sessions for the classic 16 Lovers Lane in 1988. Oceans Apart sounds very little like its aforementioned predecessor, but that’s hardly a problem. Wallis understands the band’s subtleties and the textures they like to evoke better than anyone else they’ve ever worked with. His production is more assertive, but hardly excessive. In fact, he lends the added dimension (he loves keyboards and electronic percussions) the band’s records have lacked since their comeback. The set opens with “Here Comes a City,” a literary rocker by Forster. Its shimmering, chunka-chunka riff and Forster’s vocals feel like a refined, musical nod to the Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime.” It’s also paranoid, clamoring for an edge it doesn’t quite get to, and careens along to an uncertain yet quite arresting end. Things become a bit more characteristic on McLennan’s beautiful “Finding You,” with its lilting guitars, spare, clean lines, and poetic, emotional lyrics that can open veins with the fine slash of their honesty. The dreamy, pillowy “No Reason to Cry” is among the more elegant songs McLennan has ever composed. Its soulful vocal, chorus, and the way Wallis layers keyboards, vocals, and Forster’s distorted lead lines give the lyrics great weight and depth. It’s a truly wonderful pop song. The poetry in “Darlinghurst Nights” is some of Forster’s more poignant, moving through reverie, grief, and loss. The weave of acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, drums, and percussion surrounds his voice, pushing it out in front just enough to let his words move toward the listener with enough force to draw her in. In contrast, his “Lavender” touches country music but never goes there. Loops, keyboards, and washes of guitars carry the tune somewhere else as a clarinet wafts in from the margin. Once more, its reverie is in his lyric, with a hint of the previous, as it meets the solitary present, and it’s gorgeous. The electronic beats in “The Statue” are a bit jarring until the watery, warm, and luscious keyboards slip underneath subtly, only to be buoyed by a ringing lead-guitar line and McLennan’s vocal speaking his desire without flinching. Forster’s brief, elegiac “Mountains Near Dellray” closes the set with another sense of place, very different from his opener’s. The mood is pastoral as the guitars wind and slip over one another. In addition, early editions of the CD come with a six-track, live EP, recorded at the Barbican in 2004. With its imagination, startling creativity, and sheer pop soul, Oceans Apart is the first great Go-Betweens’ record of the 21st century. – Thom Jurek

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