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Siberia

52 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Siberia is the crystallization of everything that has made the band so wonderful during their illustrious 26 year career. Explains McCulloch, ''the band we've got around us now are the closest to the old Bunnymen we've ever had. Not that we've intentionally set out to capture the past in any way. I think I'd been trying to get away from the approach of Heaven Up Here or Porcupine where a lot of the songs were based on a single note, or a pulse even, but with this album I thought, let's just slide in there and see what happens.'' One telling link to the past has been the recruiting of veteran studio wiz Hugh Jones as producer, the first time he'd worked with the Bunnymen since acting as producer on the group's second album. This is their 9th album and was recorded in Parr Street Studios in Liverpool. Cooking Vinyl. 2005.

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From their late ‘70s origins, Echo & the Bunnymen were unfairly lumped in with goth-rockers simply because their music was kind of dark, the boys in the band wore black, and both their name and haircuts were ridiculous. But the group was successful because they wrote awesome, totally distinctive songs that transcended genre trendiness. Now, it's fabulous for their diehard acolytes that Echo & the Bunnymen are still around to make classic post-punk-y Britpop in their signature style, and it would be ridiculous to ask them to write a song like "Going Up" or "The Killing Moon." After all, they already have. But something even approaching that level would be nice, however the band is seeming lackluster and suffers from it. The opening lyrics "And I need it more than love/ And I love it more than life" fail to cut it and seem simply like movement through motions. Longtime fans will find a little comfort amongst their wishes for another vital recording. --Mike McGonigal


1. Stormy Weather
2. All Because Of You Days
3. Parthenon Drive
4. In The Margins
5. Of A Life
6. Make Us Blind
7. Everything Kills You
8. Siberia
9. Sideways Eight
10. Scissors In The Sand
11. What If We Are?

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 20, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cooking Vinyl
  • ASIN: B0001IMDSI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,558 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By 12 Eloquent Dots on September 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
They really hit a stride with this release. All Because of You Days is a special song. The jangles are beautiful as they rotate with the beats. I can't find a single problem with any song. This Siberia doesn't leave me cold, it leaves me with wanting more.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By captain cuttle on January 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD
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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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kristin F. Smith on September 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Echo and the Bunnymen remain as vital and as vibrant as ever, and SIBERIA stands tall among their best works.

On this album, the Bunnymen - and producer Hugh Jones (HEAVEN UP HERE) have found the perfect blend of Ian McCulloch's melodic romanticism and Will Sergeant's driving, jangling, soul-burnishing guitars. These are songs that pull at the heart and rouse the spirit. And they'll sound just as great after the five hundredth play; this is a keeper.

SIBERIA pulses with energy, from the relentless forward momentum of "Stormy Weather" to the earnest passion of "All Because of You Days"; the devilish little keyboards of "Make Us Blind"; the wickedly witty wordplay of "Sideways Eight" and the unabashed balladry of "What if We Are". Even the glum notion that "Everything Kills You" becomes an anthem of life-affirming beauty.

Highlights are numerous, with "In the Margins" first among them. This swooping, soaring dream vision of a song belongs up in the ninth sphere with such Bunnymen classics as "The Killing Moon".

The title track, coldly beautiful and complex, benefits from repeated listening. There is a lot going on here, including some of McCulloch's best lyrics:

"Where am I

Still trying to find the light that burns the northern sky

A rarer borealis

Born to be

Made of lights"

"Parthenon Drive" takes a psychedelic-tinged, guitar-throbbing trip down memory lane, while "Scissors in the Sand" offers a wonderfully nightmarish jumble of childhood memories: `magic' trees, "Something on the roof", silverfish, ventriloquism ....

"Of a Life" looks to both past and future as McCulloch enthusiastically declares himself done with "begging", "bends" and "jumping off the mountain", and after "a song to learn and sing/Of a life requited".

SIBERIA delivers an album full of terrific songs, to requite the faith of Bunnymen acolytes and novices alike.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kristin F. Smith on August 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
SIBERIA offers a perfect synergy of those two disparate geniuses, Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant: plaintively gorgeous melodies, lyrics that manage to be polished and heartfelt at the same time, songs as finely crafted as anything from Tiffany's - all bulwarked and meshed and laced `round with enough chiming, swirling, thundering, mesmerizing, sizzling and sometimes downright ear-shredding guitars to send anyone into aural rapture. And it's as fresh and vibrant and commanding as in Bunnymen days of yore.

Darker, tougher; more focused than EVERGREEN and FLOWERS (though it springs from the same side of the field, perhaps from wilder soil), SIBERIA hints of `classic' this and that, and references many Bunny things past. A little Electrafixion bubbles through there as well.

But this album doesn't go back. It stakes out its own territory, defined by power and solidity; imagination and style; grace and humor. It has that Bunnymen sense of beauty even amid pain. The lyrics are clever, but not so clever they look like they came out of a Modern Poetry Writing 101 class. They have depth and emotional honesty. And producer Hugh Jones (a HEAVEN UP HERE veteran) certainly earns his keep - everything sounds terrific.

Songs range from the sweetly poignant, soaringly melodic "In the Margins", a classic Bunnymen anthem of the heart, to the toughness and drama and general spookiness conjured by "Scissors in the Sand", a little ditty guaranteed to breed paranoia; from "Of a Life"'s jaunty exuberance to the unapologetic romanticism of "What if We Are"; from the tempest-swept plateaus of "Stormy Weather" to the icy fortress of the title track.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MacGregor on September 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
To be honest with you I did not expect much from this Bunnymen album. Their last full-length CD, Flowers, never really sat right with me. Perhaps it was the lyrical content, or the somewhat lackluster production, I don't know. It never really gelled for me. Siberia though... what a welcome surprise.

The best thing about this collection is Will's strong presence. His jangling guitar work is some of the best it's been in ages; swirling around the songs giving your ears a chance to explore the Bunnymen's sound-scape as if the last twenty-odd years had been frozen in time. Tracks like 'Siberia' are a fine example of why this band has always been as much Will's as it is Mac's. When his guitar takes a break at the halfway point you find yourself wanting him to return.

Speaking of Mac, or writing about him as it were, he's in fine form too. His older, mellowed vocals seem more comfortable to him now. Gone are his attempts to recapture the bark of his younger days and instead you find him comfortably crooning some fo his best lyrics in years. Certainly his writing is far better than it was on Slideling, his solo album from 2003. His voice is still one of the best when whispering out a lyric or crooning out a stanza. He makes the perfect compliment to the psychedelic showmanship of Will's guitar.

The first single, 'Stormy Weather' is classic Bunnymen and the production of Hugh Jones is a welcome touch on this CD. The much commented 'Parthenon Drive' revisits older cuts like 'The Cutter' while finding a mature Mac reflecting on his life a la Frank Sinatra in 'It was a very good year.' Will's guitar in Parthenon Drive is too exquisite for mere words to relate.
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