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No Bunnymen, but not without its charm
on 10 August 2002
Firstly, though this record succeeds the Bunnymen (the legendary and brilliant Scouse-pop band McCulloch sang with) by a couple of years, it has dated much more than any of that seminal band's work. Mostly this is down to the fact that rather than working out his own sound (as the Bunnymen did), McCulloch instead places himself in the Leonard Cohen-esque role of songwriter, and perhaps in an unintentional homage to Cohen's I'm Your Man (an otherwise cracking record), leaves the song arrangements in the hands of some seriously '80s synthesiser fetishist. The songs aren't really of Bunnymen quality either, but this is not to say they're unmelodic - the key thing to bear in mind here is 'McCulloch does Cohen'. Indeed, some even have quite a bit of charm, most notably the closing song 'Start Again' which, extreme '80s-ness and all, is on a par with the Bunnymen's Ocean Rain and the undoubted highlight of this record.
So what I'd say is: don't come to this record expecting a long-lost Bunnymen record. It isn't. If you come to it with an open mind, however, you will probably quite enjoy it, and it is very clearly the predecessor of the Bunnymen's 1999 album What Are You Going to Do With Your Life?