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Studio Album Series: Echo & the Bunnymen

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Album Review

Echo & the Bunnymen caught the group at a fortuitous career juncture; the clutch of songs here were among the hookiest and most memorable the band would ever write, while the arrangements are noticeably clean and punchy, mostly eliminating strings and similar clutter to focus almost exclusively on guitars, keyboards, drums, and occasional percussion touches. The warmly expressive "All My Life," which might perhaps have received an overheated arrangement on prior albums, benefited especially from this approach. The band rocked out convincingly on other selections, such as "Satellite" and "All in Your Mind." Pete DeFreitas' solid drumming at times veered toward the danceable on tracks like "Lost and Found," "Lips Like Sugar," and the overtly Doors-influenced "Bedbugs and Ballyhoo." Surprisingly, vocalist Ian MuCulloch appeared to have rediscovered the maxim "less is more"; his singing was comparatively restrained and tasteful, resulting in a more natural, unforced emotiveness that was extremely effective. The production values were excellent, with many subtle touches that do not detract from the album's overall directness. In short, doing it clean really paid off here.


Formed: September, 1978 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Echo & the Bunnymen's dark, swirling fusion of gloomy post-punk and Doors-inspired psychedelia brought the group a handful of British hits in the early '80s, while attracting a cult following in the United States. The Bunnymen grew out of the Crucial Three, a late-'70s trio featuring vocalist Ian McCulloch, Pete Wylie, and Julian Cope. Cope and Wylie left the group by the end of 1977, forming the Teardrop Explodes and Wah!, respectively. McCulloch met guitarist Will Sergeant in the summer of 1978...
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Studio Album Series: Echo & the Bunnymen, Echo & The Bunnymen
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