Earth and Sun and Moon

Earth and Sun and Moon

Coming after the world-conquering double shot of Diesel and Dust (1987) and Blue Sky Mining (1990), Earth and Sun and Moon reaffirmed that global fame would not divert Midnight Oil from their longstanding mission of interrogating the myriad social, political, and environmental injustices in their native Australia. With ​​Jim Moginie’s piano and keyboards taking increasingly central roles in the mix, the album boasts a rootsier feel than its more tense predecessors. But that loose, relaxed vibe functions as a Trojan Horse for frontman Peter Garrett’s unsparing lyrics: the seemingly patriotic heartland rock of “My Country” proves to be a damning critique of blind nationalism, while the title track is an elating folk-funk anthem that couches a requiem for a dying planet. And even if the album’s harmonica-powered centerpiece, “Truganini,” initially earned this band some criticism at home for its well-intentioned but problematic invocation of the 19th-century Tasmanian Aboriginal figurehead, the song stands as a testament to Midnight Oil’s willingness to engage their audience in uncomfortable conversations around colonialism at a time when no other rock band of their stature would.

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