Karate's third full-length album showcases the Massachusetts' quartet's knack for simple indie rock instrumentation and emo-esque lyrics. "The Same Stars" starts off with an extended jazzy introduction, giving way to Geoff Farina's soulful crooning and the impending jazz-indie rock fusion. "Diazapam" begins with a funky experimental guitar line before Farina's vocals check in to control the pace with his most demanding vocal presence so far on the disc. His energy creates an aural splendor throughout the song, but that energy is not continued on the next track, "The Last Wars," which is another of the band's subtle ballads. "Bass Sounds" is, as its title would suggest, a bass-heavy anthem full of metaphors from the engaging Farina. The minimalist instrumentation on "Fatal Strategies" serves to give more room for Farina's voice to stretch out. The same strategy is used on many of the other songs on The Bed Is in the Ocean. The soft introductory tone on "Not to Call the Police" leads to a song that is classic Karate: simple, direct, emotional, and effortlessly enchanting. Like the album's artwork, which features a series of Legos toy pieces, the album is thoughtfully assembled to create a unique piece of art. The Bed Is in the Ocean was recorded in early 1998 at Salad Days Studios in Norwood, MA, and was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. It was released on Southern Records later that year.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer