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"Odyssey Number Five" is the fourth (studio) album by Australian rock band Powderfinger, released on September 4th, 2000. It was produced by Nick DiDia, who also produced their previous and successive albums; Internationalist and Vulture Street, respectively. The album is generally considered to be their Magnum Opus, and recieved almost unanimous critical acclaim. It recieved five ARIA awards, including the coveted "Album of the year" award (others were "Highest selling album", "Best rock album", "Best cover art" and "Best group"). The single "My Happiness" recieved the ARIA "single of the year" award, won the APRA award for "Song of the year", ranked #1 in the Triple J "Hottest 100", and has become the band's most successful single to date. The album has been certified seven-times platinum.

Now that all that's done with...

"Seriously man, this album will take you on a freakin' journey!", my wierd neighbour who listens to Rammstein at 9am said to me. Well, only in my imagination, but that's beside the point. The point is that he (it, whatever) was right, it does. Between the first pulsating chord and the final fade-out there lies a musical journey, an odyssey indeed. It takes you along its ups and downs, from the hard-rock stylings of "Like a Dog" and "We Should Be Together Now" to the sweet melodies of "The Metre" and "These Days". This is something grand.

Track Listing:

  • Waiting For the Sun

A great opening track, grabbing your attention instantly with its powerful four-chord progression. One of the best songs on the album, it is simple but beguiling. Off to a good start.
  • My Happiness

  • Often mistaken for a love song (and quite often played at weddings, I hear), the band has claimed that it is instead about the loneliness that comes with touring. A very melodic song, but with elements of rock in the latter parts.
  • The Metre

  • A slow-jam about trying to find your place and significance in the world. Makes use of accompanying strings, and is one of the softest song on the album.
  • Like a Dog

  • Without doubt the Finger's definitive rock song, and a very good one at that. Lyrically it is politically oriented, a nice change from a lot of other crappy rock lyrics I hear everywhere.
  • Odyssey #5

  • Odd for a title-track, since it seems more like a footnote than anything else. It is quite short (1:44) and has only four lines of lyrics, none of which seem to mean anything. It sounds like something from a dream, though.
  • Up & Down & Back Again

  • Another slow-jam. Like a few songs on this album, this one alternates between soft-rock and, well, soft-rock.
  • My Kind of Scene

  • I don't have much to say about this one. It's just good, OK?
  • These Days

  • The band wrote this song for the film "Two Hands", after being shown a few scenes from the movie. They sometimes play this song as a medley with other artists (e.g. Missy Higgins and that guy from JET) in concert and it won the Music Critic's Awards' "Song of the year" for 2000.
  • We Should Be Together Now

  • Another of Powderfinger's hard-rock songs with a great guitar solo.
  • Thrilloilogy
  • (sic)
    Powderfinger has a series of songs with "oi" in the title, don't ask me why. This song is rather discordant in structure, with several different sub-songs within. It all seems to work, somehow.
  • Whatever Makes You Happy

  • This is a great closing track, an acoustic arrangement with just a guitar and a soft keyboard towards the end. "Dream on together, leaning against each other. However it happens, I hope it's whatever makes you happy."

    In short: this is one of the best examples of Australian music I've ever come across. The Finger kicks ass here, don't even try to argue.

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