(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Monday, April 5, 2010

CD review - Echo and the Bunnymen, The Fountain (2009)

Most of their fellow post-punkers have fallen by wayside or evolved newer sounds, but Echo and the Bunnymen have remained consistent and true. The Fountain could fit just about anywhere the band's 30 year discography. This gives the album a comfortable sound. The only real change is the slight aging of Ian McCulloch's voice, which adds a worldlier character. In some places, McCulloch even takes on a little Neil Diamond huskiness.

The songs are all smooth and polished, inviting easy comparisons with the Psychedelic Furs, U2, and Billy Idol. The first track, Think I Need It, Too, has a steady bass line and chiming guitar on the verses -- it sounds straight off a U2 track. The chorus is anthemic, with looser flowing guitar lines. The shimmering components slowly drift apart to mark the close of the song.

Drivetime sounds like Billy Idol covering Del Shannon's Runaway. The arrangement is compelling, with just enough contrast between the languid vocal delivery and the fast, steady beat. The drop out near the end is a great touch, as the song fades on reverb artifacts.

Following that, the closer, The Idolness of Gods, sounds like an Elvis Costello tune as arranged by Morrissey. More florid than most the other tracks, the lush arrangement suits the sardonic, metaphorical lyrics.

The Fountain is like a good session bitter - not surprising but no less enjoyable for that.

1 comment:

  1. Okay. I seriously loved Echo & the Bunnymen back in the day, but haven't listened to their new stuff...now I will have to seek it out. Thanks!