Diesel n’ Dub
Covers albums can be a bit hit and miss sometimes. Is the artist being lazy, covering the music of another artist? Or is it a worthy reinterpretation of the music? Well, Declan Kelly, rather bravely, has taken on the music of Midnight Oil. Iconic may be an overused word, but in Australian music, The Oils absolutely achieved this status.
Declan Kelly presents Diesel n’ Dub is a remarkable concept album. The album has taken Midnight Oil songs specifically dealing with indigenous issues and reworked them as reggae songs. The covers are extraordinary, removing the barely contained fury of Peter Garrett’s vocals and anthemic rock nature of the band, instead showcasing the lyrics and rhythm of the songwriting.
This allows you to really hear the music in a new light. The lyrics seem to have more impact, hearing them so clearly, and the music absolutely works in this way. Declan Kelly’s vision for these songs should be commended, as should the numerous guest performers who helped to create this wonderful album.
It’s hard to pick out the stand out tracks on the album, though if pressed you’d have to say that the use of female vocalists on a number of the tracks deserves special mention for the depth it seems to add to the songs. Sad that the issues are so relevant today, but wonderful that they stand the test of time, and that so many great musicians are willing to lend their name and time to such a brilliant project. Buy this album for the quality of the music, that proceeds go to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is just a bonus.