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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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great album of songs I had never heard before delivered with that unmistakable Bunnymen vine.Published 8 months ago by William B. Clausen
Probably my favorite Bunnymen album, along with Evergreen and the (underrated) eponymous one with Lips Like Sugar. iTunes just cut the endings off of all the songs (thanks, Apple! Read morePublished on October 11, 2013 by Julia Truchsess
Love this CD!! This CD is better than their last one even. I would suggest this to anyone who likes EchoPublished on May 9, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Very pleased with transaction. Great sellers. Very good price. Quick delivery.
As for the album itself. If your familiar with this group, you won't be disappointed. Read more
I never paid the Bunnymen much mind before I heard this album. I knew a few of their hits like the `Killing Moon' and `Lips Like Sugar' but that was the extent of my fandom. Read morePublished on July 20, 2011 by DerrickH
I recently re-discovered Echo and B after hearing they were on a concert tour. Siberia is a great CD that 1. Read morePublished on September 20, 2008 by techmannn
Fresh, exciting, haunting. They were, and ARE, an amazing musical outfit, and anyone who has never heard them should buy this album. Tremendous.Published on September 30, 2007 by Yossi