I've felt the need to come back and edit my review. Here's what I wrote originally:
If "The Fountain" isn't a temporary glitch, then this may be the point at which I jump off the Ship Of Fools into the Ocean Rain... It's not all bad, but it certainly isn't a good record, by any means. And for a Bunnymen album, it's distinctly poor - and rather a shock, coming after a career highlight such as Siberia.
I've no problem with the glossy, radio-friendly production per se. It's not to my taste, but Mac and Will have to eat, and if a modern production job gets them airplay, then who am I to argue? However, a much bigger problem, unfortunately, is that there's only really half an album's worth of half-decent songs here. If you weren't too keen on the single, "Think I Need It Too", then to be honest you're unlikely to like the rest of the material on offer, as that's easily the best song on the album.
What would have been side two if this was pressed on vinyl is - to my ears at least - unworthy of the name "Echo and the Bunnymen", both musically and lyrically. This record's made me quite sad.
I'm glad to say I misjudged this record quite considerably. As others have said, it does take a while to get under your skin. As it's sunk in, I've found myself smiling along with Mac's pun-filled lyrics, rather than cringing. Actually, there's a real and unexpected sense of fun here. When the emotional content is as scouring as it is in songs like "The Fountain" and "Everlasting Neverendless" - surely a reference to "Nothing Lasts Forever" - that's quite an achievement. A record of hope, and one that you shouldn't give up on too quickly.
Apologies if I put anyone off buying it. I was wrong. I cried the fountain dry... Hallelujah...