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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2017
In Great Condition-Thanks a million
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on 20 June 2017
Echo and the Bunnymen what can you say exemplary
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on 5 May 2017
Excellent album
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on 12 January 2006
This has to be the comeback record of the century. From Crocodiles through to their no-name 1987 album Echo maintained a consistently high standard, perhaps peaking with Heaven up Here or Porcupine and tailing a little at either end. But after 1987 it was down the toilet, fast. Oh well, their inspiration lasted longer than that of 99% of rock groups. Now, out of nowhere, comes this Siberia and it's as if they're just out of the studio from that earlier string of five. McCulloch's voice has softened a touch, the wildness mostly gone, but that's not out of character with the songs. Amazingly, with a new rhythm section they still manage to evoke the heyday of Pattison and de Freitas, and Sergeant is right back to form, commenting and colouring with plenty to say. Lyrics, always the strong point of this group, are relevant to 2006 and to the group's, how shall we say it, maturity, without being fuddy-duddy or trying to be echt-hip. As my son says, sounds like they've learned from all the groups that have been inspired by them. Let's hope this is the start of an indian summer and not the last gasp.
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on 9 August 2005
It's great. I got a copy from Japan and have had it on a continuous loop since. The lyrics are as inventive and the vocals as good as ever--the smoking may kill McCulloch, but it makes his voice even deeper and more atmospheric, if that's possible. His phrasing, the best in the business, is still Sinatra on Merseyside. Will's on top form, making sure every sound has been thought through (missed on Mac's recent solo venture), and the songs are bristling with hooks and full of sonic layers. Overall, it definitely has more of a resemblance to the post-*Evergreen* albums than the '80s albums, despite Hugh Jones's first appearance as producer since *Heaven Up Here*. But there are touches of *Porcupine*-style psychedelia, and there might be more adventure in the song structures than there has been recently, which brings back the early days. Songs in the first half of the album may sound a bit too much alike--mid-tempo and maybe too few edges--but the second half is less sweet and more brooding. People who thought *Flowers* was too much of a pop record might still gripe, but if the Bunnymen can come up with hooks like these album after album, why bury them or go for Radiohead-style aimless noise? It's a musical mystery why people buy Chris Martin's nasal whining in mass quantities instead of everything these guys touch. Let's hope this one gets some attention.
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on 6 January 2006
I did think it would be a disappointment...really, but it's not! Having been raised on the bunnymen and not being alive for their first four masterpieces, this is the first one of their lps I've bought in the year it was actually released. It's a grower, but it doesn't take too long to grow, which is nice. 'Stormy Weather' is a jangly little thing, but Mcculloch's fag-roughened vocal gives it a sweet, elegiac feel. One great track is 'scissors in the sand', really surprisingly forceful, and thank god Mac let Will turn his amp back on, his guitars are just great - spiky, crystalline, as good as a lot of stuff on crocodiles or heaven up here. If you've seen them play any of these tracks live, you'll know they are very impressive when put up against the likes of all that jazz and show of strength. An album to grow to love. The last track is as touching as anything. It smacks of liverpool and great scouse spirit.
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on 16 December 2005
With the current trend for all kinds of spiky, new wave influenced bands and doom laded dark rock it should be no reason to be an influence on why the bunnymen shouldn't still be taking things on their own terms. i.e to do what they still do after 25 yearswhat they still manage to do better than anyone else. "Siberia" restores some of the old bunnymen spirit. Striking the mark several times since their great 90s comeback the stately quality of rousing and timeless classic "nothing lasts forever" from "evergreen", and "supermellowman" from 2001's "flowers" this time, more than any album since the original classic line up do they sound like a band with a vital spark and complete. Will Sergeant's guitar playing is more resembling an ominipresent force for a long time. Often driving the rest of the bands music itself such as on the almost frentic "scissors in the sand" punctuated by the the type of melodic and spindly substantial guitar work that is an ingredient of one of the greatest bands of a generation. But there's other reassuring moments. On the title track there's a deftness in the shuffling rhythm that the band haven't attempted for years. The only slight critiscm is that Ian Maculloch shows the limitations of his vocal when he sounds like he's trying too hard on relentless tunes like "sideways eight". Fortunately, if there's a situation to be remeded there's a towering yet understated epic called "in the margins", which is yet another addition to the cream of the bunnymen canon. Another one of those blinders where Mac sounds like he's singing about a fulfilled destiny. Whoever's listening is less relevant than the fact that "Siberia" is another proven example that this classic band still cut it regardless...
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on 12 August 2005
For any fan of Echo & The Bunnymen, new or old, there are four albums that are the group's masterpieces: "Crocodiles", "Heaven Up Here", "Porcupine" and "Ocean Rain". These are the albums that gave the Bunnymen worldwide cult status, which should have made them bigger than U2, if not the biggest band in the world. These are the albums that all other Bunnymen albums are tested against. And these are the albums that the likes of Coldplay and even U2 have said had major influences on their music.
Even though for some fans "Evergreen" got close, it was not close enough. "What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?" was a good album, but was too full of ballads and lacking Will Sergeant's distinctive guitar playing. "Flowers" got more into the Bunnymen sound, but didn't quite have what the fans were looking for.
So another album comes along since the 1997 comeback and the hope that McCulloch and Sergeant will be able to pull off a new album that is on par with those greats of the 1980s. For anyone who can't wait until 19th September and wants to fork out slightly more for an import, "Siberia" is already out in Japan.
Hugh Jones, the producer of the Bunnymen's second album "Heaven Up Here" - which most Bunnymen fans see as the band's best work - was brought back into the fold for "Siberia". Hugh Jones has done everything that Bunnymen fans have wanted. It's all there: the classic Bunnymen sound, McCulloch singing with passion, Sergeant's guitars and the distinctive bass sound that Les Pattinson made his own (he left the group back in 1999 and the bass is currently played by Peter Wilkinson). Drummer Simon Finley has also done an excellent job getting near to the drumming abilities of the late Peter DeFreitas. Sergeant recently said that this album was Heaven Up Here Part II and he was not joking. However, "Siberia" is not an exact copy of that album and it is poppy in places. It also sometimes keeps in with the more matured sound that has evolved since 1997 partly to suit the crooning vocal ability that McCulloch has today. But McCulloch and Sergeant have produced a modern-day masterpiece.
If you quickly run through this album there are a couple of slightly more mediocre tracks that could have come off McCulloch's "Slideling" solo album, but one thing that will knock you flying when first listening to the album is the production. Even the Slideling-type songs ("Make Us Blind", "Everything Kills You" and "What if We Are?" are the tracks that spring to mind) are turned into powerful rock anthems with the way that the production has been handled. Think Coldplay's "X&Y" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head" for any similarities in production techniques.
Sergeant's guitar playing will blow your mind. It's almost that he has sat down and listened to every way that he played on HUH and Porcupine and has done it again. Forget John Buckland, The Edge and the others, Will Sergeant is THE King of Kings in terms of guitar playing.
When comparing this album to "Evergreen", "WAYGTDWYL?" or "Flowers", it's a class apart. "Siberia" is everything that a Bunnymen album should be. The echoes of the past - Echo the drum machine makes a welcome return with the Over The Wall-style ending to "Parthenon Days" - a song which is clearly influenced by the first three Bunnymen albums; the Villiers Terrace-style rocking sound of "Scissors In The Sand" (which finishes with an ending that sounds like something similar to the spiralling guitar chord used in "A Promise"), the "Bedbugs & Ballyhoo" vibes of "Siberia" to "The Killing Moon" classic of "In the Margins". The Bunnymen of old are written all over this one.
"In the Margins" is a classic Bunnymen tune. It'll stick in your head for a very long time and Mac sings it beautifully. In terms of the post-1997 Bunnymen songs, this is up there with "Nothing Lasts Forever". "Parthenon Drive" and "Of A Life" are just unbelievable tracks for long-term fans who want the influences of Crocodiles, HUH or Porcupine. The title track "Siberia" again sounds so much like a classic Bunnymen track and shows to the world that McCulloch and Sergeant can still cut the mustard.
Forget the "play it safe" post-1997 sound, the overload of ballads and lack of Will's guitar on "WAYGTDWYL?", the too-soft sound on "Flowers". "Siberia" IS how a Bunnymen album should be done. Highly recommended.
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on 12 November 2005
If you are a long-time fan, then you need to buy this for the two absolute classic tracks it contains: 'Siberia' with its relentless snatching rhythms and the utterly wonderful 'In the Margins' with its sweeping melancholy chorus, echoing the final words of Philip Larkin's 'Arundel Tomb'. (And how many pop tunes have you listened to lately that remind you of Philip Larkin and your own mortality?)
For the rest, the album is an entertaining mix of chiming, intelligent pop and old-style Doors'influenced rock - very listenable, with only one ill-advised track that should perhaps have been strangled at birth.
For those new to the Bunnymen, a good starting point would be either 'Porcupine' (driving rock, existential angst, seething rage and scorn) or 'Ocean Rain' (chiming, lyrical pop with a subversive streak).
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on 11 March 2010
With Siberia, Echo and the Bunnymen's the post-punk Liverpudlians rehash and revisit the glories from their prodigious 1980-1987 period. They even recruited Hugh Jones, the studio vet behind their 1981 hit Heaven Up Here, culling darkly lush anthems that sound as though they were lifted straight from that blueprint. The Bunnymen still masterfully channel gloom-filled angst into subtle psychedelia. Ian McCulloch and the guitarist Will Sergeant have abandoned their attempt to grow up and restored their original agenda.

Reunions are typically mixed affairs, varying between joyous nostalgia and sobering disappointment. If the Bunnymen's comeback single, Nothing Lasts Forever (1997), was a shot of reawakened brilliance. Siberia's show's the Bunnymen can still resemble a force of nature rather than a business arrangement: Any discussion of Echo and the Bunnymen must, at some point, acknowledge that music history has slighted the band. While other alternative bands of the `80s, The Cure, the Smiths, New Order, Jesus and Mary Chain have been canonized through popular acknowledgment, artistic influence, or both, the Bunnymen have been left out of the discussion. Just why this is so is a mystery and a tragedy. Perhaps more than any of these bands Echo and the Bunnymen forged a completely new sound, combining the foreboding allure of the Doors with the shimmering jangle of the Byrds with the dark romance of a Tim Burton film. Echo and the Bunnymen's (Ian McCulloch;s) lyrics taken in isolation could be construed as works of heartfelt poetry. But if truth is know the Bunnymen and their unique sound only really works when they work together as a unit..

Siberia, has a much more open feel to it, upbeat and compassionate melodic melodies, overlaid with texturing that is rich and sparkling. The album takes the listener on a journey, one moment you're carried away on a cloud into a surreal dream world, next you're fighting for survival against the forces of nature and the struggles of life and the pains of life love and death. It's a real emotional rollercoaster. If Crocodiles represented the uncertainty and aggression of youth then Siberia reflects on the path and describes the trails and tribulations of failure and success. Siberia is a brilliant return to form

The Bunnymen Top Ten

1. Heaven Up Here
2. Crocodiles
3. Porcupine
4. Siberia
5. Ocean Rain
6. Evergreen
7. Flowers
8. Grey
9. What Are You Going To Do With Your Life
10. Fountain
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