ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN The Fountain (Ocean Rain)

Some critics (including yours truly) believe that 1984’s Ocean Rain was the Bunnymen’s absolute peak in music-making. Well, some folks are saying that the Bunnymen’s latest album – The Fountain – is the Bunnymen’s finest recording since Ocean Rain. Hurm. I’m not so sure about that though. Whereas Ocean Rain was the high point of Bunnymen’s pioneering epic sound, The Fountain is a much more poppier affair.

Detractors have derided the recent Bunnymen albums as a pastiche of their own deifining post-punk epoch, going as far as to say that on these albums, the Bunnyment sound like a parody of themselves! Well, I guess that’s the risk you take when trying to equal such ground-breaking albums as Heaven Up Here, Porcupine and of course, Ocean Rain. But really, to be fair, can’t we just take these albums at face value without having to hold them up to Bunnymen’s 80s ghost?

I mean, if The Fountain had been released by a new British band, the music press – whilst noting the debt to the Bunnymen – would be falling over themselves proclaiming such band as the “next big thing”. So why the double standard?

Personally, I think The Fountain is as strong as its predecessor Siberia (2005) and in my humble opinion, most resembles the eponymous 1987 album, which is probably the Bunnymen’s hookiest effort to date. Tracks like the opening single Think I Need It Too, Do You Know Who I Am?, Life of A Thousand Crimsha and the title track will appeal greatly to the fans of the modern post-punk revival and their proponents e.g. The Verve, The Shins, Big Pink, Coldplay, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and so on.

Echo & the Bunnymen perform in Singapore at the Esplanade Theatre on Monday, 8th February 2010 at 8pm. Tickets available from SISTIC.

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