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Book of Lightning

The Waterboys

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Album Review

Mike Scott recorded his ninth Waterboys record live in the studio, bringing along some old friends and re-igniting a fire that had been burning awfully low since 2003's deeply introspective and inconsistent Universal Hall. Opening with Book of Lightning's finest four minutes, the gorgeous "Crash of Angel's Wings," fueled by the instantly recognizable laser sweep of longtime Julian Cope collaborator Thighpaulsandra, Scott doesn't just breath life back into the band, he makes it sound like a band again. This is the amiable and slightly mischievous Waterboys of old, as evidenced by the tight, Beatles-inspired "Nobody's Baby Anymore," which takes a winking look at age, success, and longing for the day where "Peacocks danced around my eyes" and "I kissed riches/Strode tall in my britches," but that's not to say that the weighty themes of life, loss, faith, and hope aren't still the bedrock on which Scott builds his sonic temples. "Strange Arrangement" echoes the more soulful, R&B-influenced ballads from Room to Roam, the aching "Sustain" relies heavily on Vancouver backing band Great Aunt Ida's dynamic, tide-like construction and longtime trumpet collaborator Roddy Lorimer's steeple-high runs, and Scott revisits the "Big Music" of the Pagan Place era on "It's Gonna Rain," a rousing, vaguely apocalyptic romp that echoes "The Whole of the Moon." This time around, the soul-searching feels like part of the process rather than the mission itself, and even the somewhat manipulative "Everybody Takes a Tumble," which is nearly a carbon copy of "Fisherman's Blues," feels like a campfire full of good-natured charlatans on a stormy night, just waiting to talk the ear off of some lucky (or unlucky) traveler. [Book of Lightning is also available with a bonus DVD called The Travels of the Waterboys.]

Customer Reviews

Starts Off Loud...

Probably not in the ranks with "Fisherman's Blues" or "Room To Roam'; but not as consistently hard edged as "Rock In A Weary Land" or "Dream Harder". Give this about ten listens before making any judgement about how good it is. Mike's music usually takes a few extra listens to appreciate the message, and the envelop (of music) containing it. One comment though... 'Love' doesn't shoot us down, our own selfishness does.

Alice Cooper?

Have you ever heard Alice Cooper? You have to explain this one. That's one of the most mind numbing things I've heard or read in quite a while, and I was forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh at work today. As far as the actual album is concerned, I picked up the import months ago and have been enjoying the heck out of it.. It took a few listens to settle in, Mr Scott likes to keep us guessing sometimes, but it is quite good. Alice Cooper...wow.

H20 Boys....

Mike Scott can wrtie mid to slow tempo songs with the best of them.......the ones on this album stack up to any on previous H2O Boy's albums.

Biography

Formed: 1981 in London, England

Genre: Rock

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

Led by the literate singer/songwriter Mike Scott, the group's sole constant member, the mercurial Waterboys formed in London in 1981. Born December 14, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland, Scott first became involved in music as the creator of the fanzine Jungleland and later played in a series of local punk outfits. After college, where he studied English and philosophy, Scott and his band, Another Pretty Face, moved to London; following the group's breakup, he formed...
Full Bio
Book of Lightning, The Waterboys
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