Blue Sky Mining
Album Reviews
Blue Sky Mining

Reviewed in Wilson and Alroys' Reviews

Probably Midnight Oil's commercial peak, despite much less experimentation and a more monotonous tone. One tune after another follows a jangly, mid-tempo rock beat through a trail of refrains and riffs. The best example is the danceable, fast-paced title track. It was their breakthrough hit in the US, where it topped the charts - even though it flopped in Britain. The followup singles, meanwhile, are both solidy in an REM vein: "Forgotten Years," a great tension builder, and "King Of The Mountain," graced with fine counter-point harmonies, respectively hit #1 and #3 on the Billboard chart but didn't even register on its British equivalent. The rest is solid product, but there are overproduced losers in the track selection: five minutes of the catchy, creative, and creepy, but repetitive and pompously political "Mountains Of Burma" might put you to sleep, and they get carried away with soaring string arrangements on the hyper-sincere "One Country" and the would-be national anthem "Antarctica." Still, all of it is pretty and well-intentioned, and none of it is shoddy. Definitely a good by if you enjoy the band's late-period sound.

Rating: ***1/2

Reviewer: John Alroy