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CD Review: Echo & The Bunnymen – Siberia

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Artist: Echo & The Bunnymen
Album: Siberia
Label: Cooking Vinyl
Release Date: September 20, 2005
Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars

Guest review by Drake leLane.

With all the bands these days paying homage to the 80’s in their sound, it’s refreshing that so much of the real thing has come back with teeth snarled. Echo & the Bunnymen are down to just two now (Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant – so maybe they should now be Echo & the Bunnyman?) and the resulting release, Siberia, is more like their early work since, well… their early work. Of particular note is “Parthenon Drive” which musically is like a cutup of Echo classics “The Cutter,” “Bring on the Dancing Horses” and “Villiers Terrace” (play it: “Parthenon Drive” song references.) As it eerily drifts in and out of these self-references, the lyrics fittingly are a look back on life ala Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year.” To top off the reminiscing, the song has the sonic sound of the album Heaven Up Here – which shouldn’t surprise as with Siberia, the band is reunited with producer Hugh Jones, who hasn’t worked with them since the aforementioned Heaven Up Here (play it: Heaven Up Here.)

Other track highlights and observations: The first single, “Stormy Weather” harkens back to the underrated ’97 album Evergreen, and Will Sergeant’s guitar cuts his lines through like glass. “All Because of You” seems to be a nod (or jab) to U2 in both it’s sound and the opening lyrics (“I don’t want to run, I don’t want to hide,”) and reaches similar histrionic heights, effortlessly. Another self-referential track is “Of a Life” which references their greatest hits comp (Songs to Learn and Sing) with the lyric “I want a song to learn and sing/Of a life requited.” The other standout track is “Scissors in the Sand,” where we find McCulloch and Sergeant can still rock cool and confident. Not the ‘masterpiece’ that McCulloch has been proclaiming it to be, but truly a beautiful record, and another in an unbelievably long line of great comeback albums this year.

Drake leLane runs the popular music and pop culture blog Thus Spake Drake

Track Listing:

1. Stormy Weather
2. All Because Of You Days
3. Parthenon Drive
4.In The Margins
5. Of A Life
6. Make Us Blind
7. Everything Kills You
8. Siberia
9. Sideways Eight
10. Scissors In The Sand
11. What If We Are?

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About Robert of the Radish

  • Steve

    I think that Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Siberia” is the best recording they have ever done. It’s unfortunate that not many people out there in radioland will ever hear it. I completely agree that the biggest standout track on this cd is “Scissors in the Sand”. It’s brilliant. And, why I wonder, was “Stormy Weather” and the upcoming “In The Margins” picked as singles? “All Because of You Days” and “Parthenon Drive” are also noteworthy. My favorite track is “Everything Kills You”, however.

    Yes, Echo and The Bunnymen were big in the 80’s, but this is the best record of their career. I just wish more record companies would take more of a chance to push Echo into the mainstream.