Review Summary: Why? WHY?!
The Stars, The Oceans & The moon sees the most recent Echo & the Bunnymen record falling into the awkward middle ground between compilation and studio album. The band has taken thirteen classic tracks from their past and reworked and rerecorded them. Plus they've added two new compositions for good measure. On paper it doesn't seem like the worst idea. After all, taking a trip down memory lane and revisiting all these classic songs with fresh ears should be pleasingly nostalgic.
Run for your f***ing lives!
Oh boy. Let's start with the positives, which shouldn't take long as there aren't many. The more rocking version of 'Lips Like Sugar' presented here is arguably superior to the original, which is quite miraculous. The strait-laced rockier versions of 'Bring On The Dancing Horses' and 'The Cutter' are also pretty fun, if not quite on par with the classic versions. The atmospheric, brooding take on 'Bedbugs & Ballyhoo' meanwhile, would've be a near win if it wasn't for the hilarious jazz-scatt scream of "scooblibop" during it's middle eight. That's not a joke. That actually happens. The oddly sorrowful sea shanty version of 'Seven Seas' is also strangely charming in it's own weird way.
But none of the good on this album can ever erase the horrific trauma delivered by a glockenspiel version of 'Nothing Lasts Forever'. Or the hotel lounge remake of 'Rust'. Or the jazz organ rendition of 'Rescue'. At certain moments this record is so awful that it's almost funny. Almost.
So if an elevator music version of 'The Killing Moon' or a horrible, sluggish and tone deaf updating of 'Stars Are Stars' sounds like your jam, don't despair. Echo & the Bunnymen have got your back. If you do actually like music however, you should probably stay a million miles away from this nasty abomination.