0 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, November 9, 2009 - 7A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, November 9, 2009 - 1A
"We're here for the gang bang."
- Dried-up 'Fo
1980s mainstays intention and soaring vocals -
ironic, considering frontman Ian
can't get with McCulloch's public condemna-
tion of stadium mainstay U2.
modern times Regardless, the song is refresh-
ing, fitting snuggly in the Bun-
By KEVIN MEYER nymen catalogue with its musical
For theDaily simplicity. The rest of the album,
however, feels like a frustrating
Despite what Echo & the Boo- attempt to repeat the magic of
nymen might hope, it's not the the song's opening four minutes.
'80s anymore. The British post- While some other cuts recapture
punk outfit formed in 1978 when bits and pieces of fleeting wonder
its original line- - like "Drivetime" with its soar-
up consisted of ing guitars and folksy vocals, and
three men and a the plain, upbeat "Do You Know
drum machine. E Who I Am?" - the inspiration is
The Bunnymen scattered sparingly among luke-
have come a long BuflYmef warm compositions.
way since then, The Fountain While most of the tracks offer
releasing 11 stu- Ocean Rain competent meat-and-potatoes
dio albums, most arena rock, they rarely rise above
of which climbed mediocrity and are simply for-
toward the summits of the UK gettable. Thanks to the unvaried
charts. On The Fountain, though, song structures and their lifeless,
Echo & the Bunnymen seem to detached execution, the album
have lost the creative juices that feels like a run-on sentence. As
made them so popular during their Fountain progresses, the tracks
'80s heyday. quickly become background
The Fountain jumpstarts with music.
"Think I Need It Too," a dreamy, Lyrically, the record offers
provoking track that feels like dull generalities about middle-
it came straight out of an arena aged apathy. Many of the tracks
_ benefit concert with its epic are full of repetitive verses and
half-baked choruses that sound
thrown together in a rushed stu-
dio operation. An exception is
"Shroud of Turin," an investiga-
tive track full of religious under-
tones. McCulloch expresses deftly
ambiguous lamentation over what
could be interpreted as either a
failed relationship or spiritual
cynicism with lines like, "It never
happens when you want it to / It
never does what it's supposed to
Even the songs' thematic
expressions are pleated for the
mainstream, capturing love with
broad, facile lyrics like "Love /
Hate it / Want it," missing the
oddball metaphors that marked
the band's past work. It's as if The
Fountain was watered-down, with
neutrality in an attempt to appeal
to more listeners. Refusing to
break the band's routine of radio-
ready rock, the album loses the
edge that made Echo and the Bun-
nymen's previous albums worth a
While there is a certain comfort
found in consistency, it is Echo
and the Bunnymen's failure to
take risks that secures Fountain
as a passive, middle-of-the-road
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UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SENATE'S
DAVIS, MARKERT, NICKERSON
LECTURE ON ACADEMIC AND I ECTUAL FREEDOM
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Columabia University School of Law
Monday November 9, 2009
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Administration, School of Social Work,
1080 S. University, Ann Arbor, MI
48109-1106. Please reference job code
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