Happy week before Thanksgiving! As always, I go through a period of not buying any new music for a while, then splurge all at once. My last post was about the great debut from Them Crooked Vultures, which I would probably give 3.5 out of 5 stars to, at least according to the Tfronky Rating System. While at ZIA Records off the I17 Freeway and Thunderbird on Wednesday I found some used stuff I wanted, including the new Flaming Lips disc Embryonic, and found the latest Echo and the Bunnymen disc The Fountain new.
Flaming Lips – Embryonic – 1 star
It pains me to write that, because I really do like this band. The Soft Bulletin was incredible, and Do You Realize is one of my all-time favorite tracks. I will have that song played at my funeral. But Embryonic is 18 songs of pure noise that if I did drugs at all still would not improve the quality of listening to this album. I may play frisbee with this.
Echo and the Bunnymen – The Fountain – 3 stars
A wonderful, plesant surprise. Echo is my all-time favorite band, and this album may keep them there for a while. I have been really disappointed in this band since 3/4 of the original line-up reunited in 1997. The four albums they have released since then have been, in my opinion, sub-par at best. Well, The Fountain may not be Ocean Rain or Porcupine, but I think it is the band’s best work since 1987’s self-titled fifth album, the last with the original line-up.
The Fountain is actually an album that sounds very similar to Echo and the Bunnymen, particularly to the lead track from that album The Game. Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant are the surviving original members, and although Ian’s voice sounds a bit strained today and Will’s guitar work is not what is was during the band’s prime, the ten songs on this disc are welcome additions to the Bunnymen’s catalog. The Fountain is simply classic, mid-tempo Britpop, done Bunnymen style with plenty of Ian’s witty lyrics and Will’s guitar hooks.
Needless to say I am excited, it is great to hear the Echo I fell in love with over twenty years ago. I have not seen them since 1988, here is to that changing in 2010!