The Waterboys — Good Luck, Seeker (Deluxe) (Aug. 21, 2020)

SCOTLAND FLAG                                                                         The Waterboys — Good Luck, Seeker (Deluxe) (Aug. 21, 2020) The Waterboys — Good Luck, Seeker (Deluxe) (Aug. 21, 2020)Skotská skupina, která stojí za singer~songwriterem Mike Scottem se soundem, sahajícím od keltského folk~rocku až po široce rozmáchlý alternativní hymnus. Funky organický punč otvíráku „The Soul Singer“ naráží na hladkou elektronickou pohádku R&B „(You’ve Got to) Kiss a Frog or Two“, což je první z mnoha nesrovnalostí, které při zpětném pohledu tvoří celé toto konkrétní období existence kapely ještě zajímavější. Fanoušci Scottovy folk~troubadourské hudby pravděpodobně přijmou jeho temné zaujetí skotské tradiční písně „Low Down in Broom“, jediného skutečně akustického střihu této sady. „My Wanderings in the Weary Land“ podtrhuje styl bandu v její plné rockové majestátnosti, zatímco triumfální „Everchanging“ ke stejnému prvku senzačně radostné barvy ještě přidává. Good Luck, Seeker nepatří k velkým albům Waterboys, ale je to dobrodružné album s dostatkem standoutů a podivnou magií. Mike Scott ©Photo: Scarlett Page
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Genre: Rock / Rock & Roll/Rockabilly
Album releade: August 21, 2020
Format: • 2CD deluxe • coloured vinyl • signed editions
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Duration:     48:47+34:30 = 83:17
CD 1:
01. The Soul Singer   4:43
02. (You’ve Got to) Kiss a Frog or Two   3:49
03. Low Down in the Broom  3:05
04. Dennis Hopper   3:10
05. Freak Street   2:36
06. Sticky Fingers   0:46
07. Why Should I Love You?   5:44
08. The Golden Work   3:02
09. My Wanderings in the Weary Land   6:48
10. Postcard from the Celtic Dreamtime   4:11
11. Good Luck, Seeker   2:46
12. Beauty in Repetition   1:48
13. Everchanging   1:51
14. The Land of Sunset   4:28
Bonus disc: Alternate versions
01. The Soul Singer (Instrumental)   4:40
02. (You’ve Got To) Kiss a Frog or Two (Instrumental)   2:47
03. Low Down in the Broom (Guitar/Vocal Version)   2:58
04. Dennis Hopper (Demo)   1:53
05. Why Should I Love You? (Instrumental)   5:44
06. My Wanderings in the Weary Land (Vocal Version)  2:37
07. Postcard from the Celtic Dreamtime (Instrumental)   4:11
08. Beauty in Repetition (Instrumental)   1:57
09. The Soul Singer (Demo)   3:28
10. The Land of Sunset (Instrumental)   4:25
Mike Scott
Steve Wickham
Ralph Salmins
Brother Paul Brown
 Mike Scott ©Photo: Scarlett PageAllMusic Review by Timothy Monger; Score: ★★★
•★  Capping off an unofficial trilogy of puzzling but frequently rewarding late~period albums, Mike Scott and the Waterboys enter the 2020s with Good Luck, Seeker, a typically eclectic 14~track jumble of wily mysticism, rock & roll romance, oddball tributes, and canned dance beats. Aside from Scott’s latter~day affinity for looped (and regrettably dated) electronic beats, these attributes could be applied to almost any Waterboys album dating back to the „big music“ early years, the Celtic folk heyday of the „Raggle Taggle Band“ era, or the subsequent decades of deep sonic and personal exploration that mark nearly everything from 1993’s Dream Harder onward. The Scottish songwriter has always been a seeker and in that sense, the band’s 14th album makes perfect sense. Dreamed up, written, and recorded at his home studio and reshaped via shared audio files by his bandmates at their own studios, Good Luck, Seeker holds together better than expected and in its way logically follows 2017’s ambitious Out of All This Blue and 2019’s sprightly Where the Action Is, melding together bits of soul, rock swagger, spoken word, hip~hop rhythms, and dreamy folk into what has more or less become the Waterboys’ signature melting pot.
•★  The funky organic punch of opener „The Soul Singer“ butts up against the smooth electronic R&B fairytale of „You’ve Got to Kiss a Frog or Two,“ marking the first of many incongruities that, when scaled back, make up the more interesting whole of this particular period in the band’s existence. Fans of Scott’s folk troubadour side will likely be quite taken with his dark~hued take on the Scottish traditional song „Low Down in the Broom,“ the only truly acoustic cut in the set. „My Wanderings in the Weary Land“ highlights the band at their full rock majesty, while the exultant „Everchanging“ adds splashes of joyful color to that same element. A cover of the lovely 1993 Kate Bush~Prince highlight, „Why Should I Love You,“ stands in the middle of the set, surrounded on either side by eccentric spoken word pieces highlighting disparate literary heroes such as British occultist Dion Fortune („Good Luck, Seeker“) and American philosopher William James („Beauty in Repetition“). While the album’s myriad loops and effects often feel too dated and jarring, so is the concept of reciting passages from arcane authors or devoting three minutes to a well~meant but tacky electro~funk ode to Dennis Hopper. Scott has never pandered to critics or even his own audience, instead building a career that consistently chases joy, enlightenment, truth, and whimsy to whatever ends they might lead, tasteful or not. Good Luck, Seeker is not one of the great Waterboys albums, but it is an adventurous one with enough standouts and strange magic to go around. •★
Words: Lisa Wright, 3rd April 2020
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