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Liverpool's Echo and the Bunnymen present their 11th studio album, The Fountain, which is their fifth since reforming in 1997. In a career spanning 30 years, singer Ian McCulloch states that this one's the bands best since Ocean Rain. No small claim, as on that record's release in 1984, McCulloch declared Ocean Rain to be "the greatest album ever made."

Although using the Bunnymen name, the band is half of the original lineup. Drummer Pete de Freitas died in a motorcycle crash before their reformation and bassist Les Pattison bailed out after ’97s Evergreen, leaving frontman McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant to carry the flag.

The Fountain’s highlights include single "I Think I Need It Too," which displays McCulloch's classic baritone and knack for a catchy chorus and Sergeant’s unique guitar tone. A surprise gem is "Proxy," venturing away from the band’s usual sound with a piano-pop song, complete with "whoa-oh-oh" backup. "Drive Time," has an interesting riff, and the interplay of a string section on "Life of 1,000 Crimes" with its foot-stomping rhythm track is bold and effective. The record's coda is "The Idolness of Gods," which finishes the record on a high note. "Gods" is a dynamic piano ballad over which McCulloch croons a lithe vocal in hushed tones.

The Fountain is not a bad album, it just has none of the things that made the Bunnymen great - the mystique, the passion, the dynamics of a great quartet. This record is not the second greatest record ever made but shimmering reverb from their former selves.

Album title: The Fountain
Artist: Echo and the Bunnymen
Label: Cooking Vinyl
Songs: (1) Think I Need It Too (2) Forgotten Fields (3) Do You Know Who I Am? (4) Shroud of Turin (5) Life of a Thousand Crimesha (6) The Fountain (7) Everlasting Neverendless (8) Proxy (9) Drivetime (10) The Idolness of Gods

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 30, 2009 @ 12:22 p.m.

Man, I love the Echo and the Bunnymen tunes form the late 80's...

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