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Olympian

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Album Review

Kicking off with the sprightly "Haunted by You," Olympian immediately conjures images of the Smiths, particularly "This Charming Man." Martin Rossiter's voice also sways like Morrissey, yet his band plays their songs as if they were hard rockers, bringing a desperate edge to their best material. Most of Olympian's finest moments were singles — aside from "Haunted by You," the epic sweep of "Sleep Well Tonight" and the gentle urgency of the title track form the heart of the album; two other singles were added to the American version, including the stellar "Be My Light, Be My Guide." While Gene manages to carve out an identity indebted to the Smiths but not dominated by them, they also fail to produce an album of consistently compelling material — considering that it's a debut album, that's not a fatal flaw. And Gene's best material shows they are capable of transcending their influences.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Gene will forever be haunted by comparisons to the Smiths, especially since lead singer Martin Rossiter favors the same strangled croon and tortured loneliness of Morrissey. Nevertheless, under the direction of guitarist Steve Mason, Gene developed a tougher sound than the Smiths, drawing not only from the fey tradition of British indie-pop, but also from the three-chord raunch of the Faces, the working-class punk of the Jam and the soulful stomp of Motown. Most critic s didn't hear such subtle differences,...
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Olympian, Gene
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