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Midnight Oil

℗ 2002

Midnight Oil • 2002 • Capricornia

With Capricornia, the Australian political rockers return with their first album of new material in four years. More than 25 years into their career, there's nothing surprising about Midnight Oil's approach at the turn of the millennium, but Capricornia finds them delivering their expected blend of melodic, muscular, and thoughtful guitar rock. They're still as righteously indignant as ever over the plight of the common man, although perhaps not quite as direct or focused. There's plenty of fire in the belly, though, on driving cuts like "Golden Age" and the tempered optimism of "World That I See," while they exhibit their trademark resilience on "Tone Poe"." From it's lovely, stripped-down intro, "Under the Overpass" (about the homeless) builds to a powerful climax, providing one of the album's highlights, and they work up a good head of steam on the forceful "Say Your Prayers" (which, musically, is reminiscent of U2's "Zoo Station"). Capricornia isn't likely to garner them a new audience, but it's equally unlikely to disappoint Oils' devoted fan base. — Tom Demalon.