8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Some new classics, some mediocrity,
This review is from: Universal Hall (Audio CD)
So Steve Wickham's back with Mike Scott, and Scott's back in the basement of Findhorn Foundation Community's Universal Hall, where he recorded his solo album Bring 'em All in in '94/'95. This new album is a lot like Bring 'em All in; predominantly acoustic music with lyrics concentrating on Scott's spiritual life. The main difference actually lies in the length of the lyrics. Possibly inspired by Buddhist mantras (or possibly by a writer's block) they are often minimalistic, containing in one case no more than two lines. But the songs are rescued by strong melodies, Scott's intense vocals and good instrumental work, though one cannot help but wonder how great they would have been had Scott used his immense literary talent for what it's worth.
Some of the arrangements are a bit poor, with "Seek the Light" being the worst example. Had it been featured on the Waterboys' previos effort, A Rock in the Weary Land, it would have been a more fiting, though definitely below par track. Here it is not only a poor song, but it also ruins the flow of the album.
The good news is that tracks like "This Light Is for the World" and "Ain't No Words for the Things I'm Feeling" are really good songs, and especially in concert they come across as new classics. But here's to hoping Mike Scott will get his literary muse back!