Book Of Lightning
, the ninth album from The Waterboys, features most of the band's signature motifs: pseudo-mystical lyricism, Mike Scott's throaty vocals, electric fiddle and ethereal trumpet. What sets Book Of Lightning
apart from previous projects is its slightly heavier rock sound, a consequence no doubt of recently recruiting innovative guitarist Leo Abrahams. That said, many of the songs on Book Of Lightning
could easily slide onto earlier albums unnoticed, especially the electric-violin soaked, seven-minute "Everybody Takes a Tumble," and the gentle, acoustic "The Man With the Wind at His Heels." "Strange Arrangement" and "You in the Sky" are also redolent of older material, though "Nobody's Baby Anymore" and "It's Gonna Rain" drift along in a more unexpected bluesy vein. With its considered balance of moods and textures and enchanting abundance of lyrical prowess, Book Of Lightning
can only enhance the reputation of this fabulous band. --Danny McKenna
Back in the 80s The Waterboys were big, and not just in terms of success. Alongside the likes of U2 and Simple Minds they made BIG music; sweeping, epic tunes which sounded best when played live in vast arenas, but something happened.
For a while the critical consensus was that bandleader Mike Scott went a bit weird. He disappeared to Ireland to record unfashionable fiddledy-diddledy music, before moving to a new age community to apparently avoid the fame that was his for the taking. It's a nice story, but not strictly true. After all the resulting album Fishermans Blues was their biggest seller at the time and it's become a bit of a classic over the years. However it does illustrate the real point which is that Mike Scott is a man who goes where the music takes him. He's been doing that ever since.
Well what goes around comes around as the saying goes and with "nu folk" now a bona fide movement and with the purveyors of big and equally fiddle and accordian-filled music, Arcade Fire, occupying the position of current music critic darlings it seems that Mike Scott could well be the man of the moment once again. If Book Of Lightning is anything to go by this is a distinct possibility.
The titles alone tell you that this is big music. "Crash Of Angels Wings," "You In The Sky," and "The Man With The Wind At His Heels" are just three of them and if they don't conjure up images of guitar players standing on the edges of snow capped mountains or on windswept fields then you're too young to remember the eighties. It's all fantastic stuff and a fine return from one of music's great contrarians. If he decides he fancies it of course. --Brian McCluskey
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