By Lee Zimmerman
The Waterboys seem to have been missing from the limelight lately, but it would take more than the absence of a few years to keep the band’s mainstay, Mike Scott, from reclaiming his place in rock’s higher ethos. Consequently, the group’s current album, the aptly titled “Out Of All This Blue,” is newly emerged as a two record set boasting no less than 23 songs, all of which suggest that Scott’s time has been well spent. While the Celtic elements that have always added drama and defiance to Waterboys music are still evident throughout, the sounds of soul, pop and full throttle rock ‘n’ roll also play a predominant role in the mix, making this sprawling opus Scott’s answer to The Beatles’ “White Album” as far as diversity and direction are concerned. Scott’s vocals — a sneer and a sizzle that’s part Dylan, part contemporary crooner — adds the necessary drama, but the soaring arrangements and relentless rhythms also contribute to the inherent fury and finesse. If anything, the music sounds more down to earth, a bit removed from the fury and frenzy that characterized the band’s earlier efforts. Even so, it’s no less inspired, and given refrains which seem to shout towards the heavens, it suggests that this is an epic of a singular sort.
Read how The Waterboys' music changed Mission U.K. frontman Wayne Hussey's life: