Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Oils Songwriting

ALEXEI alexeis@usa.net
Tue, 26 Nov 2002 10:37:43 +0200

I would love to be able to write as much as I wish on the subject, until my
English vocabulary is depleted.  But I will try to be short in my

Firstly, the Oils are lucky to have two outstanding songwriters in the lineup,
namely, Moginie and Hirst.  Whether they complete one another or vy for the
sound of the group, I leave to others to decide.  My personal opinion is that
they used to work way more closely together until Redneck Wonderland.  After
Breathe I am personally under the impression that they are increasingly on
their own and do not collaborate that much.

Secondly, I differentiate between what I like as a listener and what I admire
as an, let's say, analyst.  Bullroarer, for instance, is my all time favorite
but pretty obvious from the songwriting angle, as is the whole D&D, in my
opinion.  NOw, I am not speaking about the punch the album packs for many
people, including myself.  It's just that I find strength and will to part
layers and peep inside.

My personal belief is that Blue Sky Mining is a most immaculate album from the
songwriting point of view.  Mountains of Burma is a song for manuals--perfect
blend of pefect parts, production, etc.  Forgotten Years is a perfect song,
too--nothing far-fetched, flows naturally, "spur-of-the-moment" feel... 
Bedlam Bridge...

Eearth and Sun and Moon continued the impeccable songwriting tendency. 
Outbreak of Love is a musically great song a la Oscar Wilde, full of
self-indulgence and self-admiration, art for art's sake.  I will agree with
whoever said in an earlier post that Bushfire is great.

So, I think if I were to recommend to an aspiring musician/songwriter where to
start with the Oils, I think I would say BSM.  I believe it to be their most
elaborate statement musically.  But Beth, if I were ever to explain to a
musician why it is that he should be listening to and studying the Oils, I
would begin with one simple word, "originality."  And this is a category which
is extremely hard to grasp and to measure.  This they don't teach--anywhere.