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Given the acclaimed, Phoenix-like resurrection of Echo and the Bunnymen in recent times, Slideling arrives as a somewhat unexpected and rather belated third solo offering from their loquacious egotist of a frontman, Ian McCulloch. On this evidence, however, it is clear that you may be able to take the Ian McCulloch out of Echo and the Bunnymen (not a good idea if past experiences are to go by) but you can't take the Echo and the Bunnymen out of McCulloch, even if his abstention in this instance is merely temporary. Despite auxiliary assistance from both Jon Buckland and Chris Martin of Coldplay (particularly on the subtly persuasive single "Sliding") and even actor John Simm, circumventing the Bunnymen's shadowy, superstitious pop signature was not going to be easy for one of that bands' two integral players. And so Slideling has it quota of slyly atypical squinty-eyed rockers, among them "High Wires" and "She Sings (All My Life)", two numbers that not only divulge a debt to the lingering influences of David Bowie and (right down to the washboard rhythm guitar) the third Velvet Underground album, but also to prior Bunnymen compositions such as "Do It Clean" and "Seven Seas". However, Slideling is markedly more luminous in mood than Flowers (the more recent Bunnymen album) with abundant lyrical references to the "sun" indicating a levity of spirit epitomised by "Love in Veins", a lucid square-on pop tune with idiotically brilliant verses. Capping it all, the sepia-tinted nostalgia of "Playgrounds and City Parks"--a song for everyone who remembers the innocence and liberty of childhood--is tailor-made for the repertoires of contemplative singer/songwriters everywhere. Slideling is McCulloch's best solo offering by a distance. --Kevin Maidment
Top Customer Reviews
The album starts off with a kick, Love In Veins, which really wakes you up. Thereafter the album takes a quieter path, with some passing nods to other writers such as Lou Reed. Having been listening to the album most of theEaster holidays ( I was lucky enough to win this as 2nd prize on Radio 6 – signed by Ian himself no less) I have started to make decisions about which tracks are my favourites – at the minute surely Kansas, which seems vaguely reminiscent of Frank Black in one of his quieter moments ,and the opening Love In Veins.
Another Train has some nice touches, changing the tempo nicely between the verse and the chorus.
Altogether the album displays depth and thoughfullness.
Despite it being 25 years since "Rescue" this guy still has more talent than most of the artists in today's charts combined.
The album starts with 'Love in Veins' which is a rocky opener and undoubtably the highlight but the man in the big coat follows up with 'Playgrounds...', 'Baby Hold On', 'High Wires' and 'Kansas'. He keeps a firm hold of that classic bunnymen sound to please the regulars happy but also manages to make an album that should win him many more fans