Review Summary: Break out the nursing home pamphlets...
Knit wear. Rocking chairs. Wurther's Originals. On their sophomore reunion album, Echo & the Bunnymen fully embraced the fact that they were now aging, wrinkly curmudgeons.
But with age comes wisdom, so 'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life' is full of bittersweet, autumnal reminiscences. In other words, that means a whole lot of stately, dignified ballads. If the thought of an album comprised of 9 back-to-back mid-paced ballads doesn't appeal, you may as well just stop reading right now. This LP isn't for you.
When at it's best, 'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life' is absolutely fantastic. Skyscraping ballads like lead single 'Rust' and closing track 'Fools Like Us' take the template of the Bunnymen classic 'Nothing Lasts Forever' and ramps it up exponentially. Both songs immediately rank among the best the in the band's cannon.
Other wistful highlights include the brass adorned 'When it all Blows Over'. Taking the spirit of aging to it's logical conclusion, the Bunnymen basically rework The Beatles 'When I'm Sixty-Four' into their own retirement home classic. Your grandmother would love it. 'Get in the Car' and 'Baby Rain' would also bring a twinkle to her eye, as both are the very definition of easy listening soft rock. They would play very nicely over lattes in Starbucks.
Nice. Pleasant. Gentle. All words readily associated with this particular Echo & the Bunnymen album. There are days when I feel all grown up, mature and reflective. On those days, this LP will often hit the spot and I'll feel like its something of a lost masterpiece. on other days, listening to this record is like pulling teeth. It makes me want to listen to something with blast-beats on it just to make sure I'm still alive.
'What Are You Going To Do With Your Life' is ultimately a good album for a very specific mood. When you're existing in that space of wet leaves, mown grass and sullen regret, this LP will likely deliver. If you're not in that frame of mind, however, this LP will refuse your advances at every turn. A bit like your grandmother.