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This long awaited solo album from ex-Echo & The Bunnymen frontman is classic McCulloch, moody & atmospheric with thoughtful lyrics & powerful instrumental washes. Multi-platinum stars Coldplay appear on several tracks. 'More Bryon than Bono, McCulloch dan
Given the Phoenix-like post-millennium resurrection of Echo & the Bunnymen, Slideling is a rather unexpected and rather belated third solo offering from their loquacious egotist of a frontman. It's clear, however, that you may be able to take the Ian McCulloch out of Echo & the Bunnymen (not a good idea if judged by past experience), but you can't take the Echo & the Bunnymen out of McCulloch, even if his abstention in this instance is merely temporary. Despite auxiliary assistance from both Jon Buckland and Chris Martin of Coldplay and actor John Simm, circumventing the Bunnymen's shadowy, superstitious pop signature was not going to be easy for one of that band's two integral players. And so Slideling has it's quota of slyly atypical squinty-eyed rockers, among them "High Wires" and "She Sings (All My Life)," two numbers that not only divulge a lingering debt to David Bowie and the Velvet Underground, but also to prior Bunnymen compositions like "Do It Clean" and "Seven Seas." Slideling is McCulloch's best solo offering by a distance. --Kevin Maidment
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There are some highlights on the album that almost live up to the Bunnymen's glory - but they're too few and out numbered by a number of tracks marred by an uninspired lead guitar or just simplistic song structure. The stand out tracks on the album include 'High Wire' with it's infectious up-tempo groove and fun backing vocals (Woo!) (High Wire is also a very Electrafixion like song) and 'Seasons' - which is the most Bunny-like track on the disc. Other highlights include 'She Sings (all my life)' and 'Love in Veins.'
All said, the new album is a welcome addition to my CD collection - and is getting ripped to my iPod tonight. However, the album sure could use Will Sergeant's input. Together McCulloch and Sergeant are the best music partnership to come from Liverpool since Lennon-McCartney. With luck the Bunnymen will retun - until then you'll find me singing along to Slideling.
If you've not heard 'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life' I strongly recommend that album instead, and if you have heard it then I would approach this one with caution.