Gene

Olympian

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Kicking off with the sprightly "Haunted by You," Olympian immediately conjures images of the Smiths, particularly "This Charming Man." Martin Rossiter's voice also sways like Morrissey, yet his band plays their songs as if they were hard rockers, bringing a desperate edge to their best material. Most of Olympian's finest moments were singles -- aside from "Haunted by You," the epic sweep of "Sleep Well Tonight" and the gentle urgency of the title track form the heart of the album; two other singles were added to the American version, including the stellar "Be My Light, Be My Guide." While Gene manages to carve out an identity indebted to the Smiths but not dominated by them, they also fail to produce an album of consistently compelling material -- considering that it's a debut album, that's not a fatal flaw. And Gene's best material shows they are capable of transcending their influences.

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