After the relative polish of This Ain't No Outerspace Ship -- dominated by concise, hooky songs and plenty of vocals -- Love Tractor took a bit of a step backwards on Themes From Venus, which would prove to be the band's final album (at least prior to their reunion in 2001). The tunes on Themes From Venus are longer and less structured than those on Outerspace Ship, the grooves are at once loopier and more prominent, and while most of the songs have vocals, the words take a definite back seat to the music. In a way, it sounds like a return to the good old days of Around the Bend, except that Love Tractor haven't given up anything they gained along the way -- the band sounds a whole lot tighter and more muscular than they did in their earlier days, and when they hit a groove, they cover a lot of territory they never would have dreamed of exploring only a few years before. If This Ain't No Outerspace Ship made Love Tractor sound like the world's smartest party band, then Themes From Venus suggested they'd taken a few more classes and learned even more about groove. Themes From Venus closed the book on Love Tractor (at least for a while), with the group sounding louder and prouder than when they started, but just as willfully eccentric and charmingly witty -- would that every band could manage such a feat.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming