Einstein's Sister

Oceanus

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    4
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AllMusic Review by

Despite its merits, Einstein's Sister's sophomore effort, Oceanus, will probably always be overshadowed by the story that surrounds it. After the band's successful debut, Einstein's Sister signed with Oar Fin Records and was assigned producer James Walsh. They later denounced said "house producer" for not "getting" the band and therefore steering the production in the completely wrong direction. Well, yes and no. Oceanus does have a stiff, lifeless feel to it, and the performances feel rote and calculated. In comparison to the other Einstein's Sister records, it feels positively limp. However, it's not nearly as bad as the band says (Kerry Tucker and Bill Douglas actively discourage fans from buying the album, both on their web page and via feedback on www.amazon.com). While certainly not an ideal starting point, the album has plenty of merits for the initiated, in particular the chugging rocker "House of Liars," which would become a college radio hit. But still, one can't help but see this as a missed opportunity since, for the most part, the songwriting quality equals the debut but is diminished by wimpy, uninspired production. And the poor quality of the album art -- it looks like it was run off on a home printer -- doesn't help matters any. So, oddly enough, the only album that Einstein's Sister released with the assistance of a record label comes off looking and sounding like the band's flimsiest. Score one for the D.I.Y. mentality, and thankfully after this the bandmembers realized they were better off on their own.

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