Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Review: Siberia

Eyewear is of the firm opinion that the new album from Echo and The Bunnymen, Siberia, recently released in the UK, confirms their 25-year-career to have been unexpectedly crowned by this superb collection of heartfelt yet well-made songs.

Rather than being just another 80s New Romantic band, Echo (see left) have now made a crafted, mature album that argues for their lasting cultural importance. Contemporary guitar-led new-alternative bands need to watch their backs - song for song (and there are 11 of them) this is as good as the last outings from U2, The Cure, Franz Ferdinand or Coldplay, and far more elegantly generous: it actually shimmers, soars, saddens and soothes, savvy and cerebral and shamanistic. As usual, words and music both twist with surprise and still deliver the goods.

Fans of their significant mid-80s work (which inspired aspects of cult film Donnie Darko) - as lovely and haunting as anything then produced, with a slight Lizard King touch of rock-soaked poetic grandiosity - will not be displeased. While there is no "Killing Moon" here, many songs come close to the greatness of Ocean Rain, and in fact the whole is more impressive for being belated.

What this album provides is the sound of young men young no longer, shouldering a kind of manhood, still passionate and cold as Siberia; the album reverberates a sense of melancholy mastery, as if with rue comes great wisdom.

Stand out tracks include "All Because of You Days"; "Scissors In The Sand"; "What If We Are"; "In The Margins" and "Parthenon Drive".
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