Album #542 – Ocean Rain
Ocean Rain is my favorite album from one of the best bands to come out of the 1980s. Echo & The Bunnymen got their start in the Liverpool music scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Many British artists came out of similar scenes throughout the UK. Bands didn’t have to go to London to make it big. They could perform, write, record and release music on their home turf. By the time Ocean Rain was released in 1984, the band was at their creative peak. They are in fine form on the LP. Unique for its time, the album has virtually no synthesizers or synth drums. Instead, each song has live strings and acoustic instruments. The overall tone of the music matches the haunting quality of the songs. Lead singer Ian McCullough is Jim Morrison reincarnated. His haunting vocals match the songs beautifully, with lyrics that are closer to those of romantic poets than 80’s pop stars. Ocean Rain still stands up well today and that is because it is a timeless album. The Killing Moon, the album’s biggest track used brilliantly in Donnie Darko, captures this feeling brilliantly. Not everyone liked the album when it was released. Rolling Stone gave it 2 stars along with a dismissive review. But, since when has Rolling Stone ever gotten it right? To me, Ocean Rain is one of those albums that will be with us 50 and 100 years from now and still sound just as fresh as it did in 1984. Other highlights include: Silver, Nocturnal Me, Thorn of Crowns, Seven Seas, My Kingdom and one of the best album closers of all time, Ocean Rain. Overall, I give Ocean Rain, 8.5 out of 5.
Next: Double Nickels on the Dime by Minutemen