- OCEANS APART is the third studio album by Robert Forster and Grant McLennan since the two lauded Australian singer/songwriters reunited under the Go-Betweens banner in 2000. A vibrant pop-rock outing, this record stands in notable contrast to the stripped-down indie sound of THE FRIENDS OF RACHEL WORTH and the acoustic-oriented atmosphere of 2003's BRIGHT YELLOW, BRIGHT ORANGE. In fact, OCEANS APART carries echoes of 1988's 16 LOVERS LANE, which is no coincidence, since both albums share producer Mark Wallis.
- Although Forster and McLennan are the essence of the Go-Betweens, the duo opts for more full-band interplay here with BRIGHT YELLOW's returning musicians--bassist Adele Pickvance and drummer Glenn Thompson. "Here Comes the City" sounds like a jangle-pop cousin of Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime" and features the literate lyrical musing "Why do people who read Dostoyevsky look like Dostoyevsky?" While the former is a typically playful Forster tune, the following track, "Finding You," is a chiming, melancholy song that exemplifies McLennan's aesthetic. This longstanding give and take defines the Go-Betweens, and it shapes this excellent record.
Rolling Stone (p.76) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "[N]ewcomers will hear a seductively pretty indie-pop record, while their still-ballooning cult can marvel at the sound of their iridescent melodies turning autumn-gold."
Spin (p.105) - "[T]he music's sweet spot is somewhere in the space between Forster's slowly unfolding naturalist evocations and McLennan's airy pop romanticism." - Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly (No. 817/818, pp.148-51) - "[R]adiant tunes....they remain one of rock's most pleasurable hand-me-down discoveries." - Grade: A-
Uncut (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The band sounds re-energised by an idea of the city, the marketplace, pop ambition."
Magnet (p.95) - "[C]risp, guitar-driven pop songs. They ride two rails: remembrance and regret."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.60) - Ranked #15 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "Gutsy, lyrical, dreamlike, heartbreaking..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.95) - 5 stars out of 5 - "Forster and McLennan once again occupy their unique yet complementary worlds, with Forster holding hard to an unraveling past as McLennan loses himself in the milky haze of fading days."