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Rock in the Weary Land
Artist: The Waterboys
Label: Razor & Tie Entertainment
Length: 14 tracks

Thoughtful Rock music is not dead and Mike Scott has returned to make it clear. Mike Scott returns with the Waterboys mantle on the new album, Rock in the Weary Land released by Razor & Tie in the US including two bonus tracks not on the English version. This is the first official release of new material from the Waterboys since Room to Roam in 1990. Rock in the Weary Land is a new sound for the Waterboys, mixing their rock sound from the 80s with a more progressive sound reminiscent of Radiohead, who Mike Scott sites as a musical influence.

Mike Scott weaves this new rock sound with his observant commentary on people, nature and the world in general. With the lyrical content of most pop-rock bands focusing on love, hate and sex, it’s nice to listen to music that has something more to say about life and asks questions about the state of affairs in the world today in a thought provoking manner. “Dumbing Down the World” is a straightforward song about the self-imposed ignorance of people and their refusal to educate themselves. Some people like it that way. The player credits for the song go to the names of the demons in C. S. Lewis’ classic The Screwtape Letters. 

While not every song in this collection lives up to its potential, there is enough strong material here to please fans of the band who have waited a long time for this recording. For those who haven’t previously been exposed to the Waterboys, this is a good album to begin with. This album should increase the Waterboys fan base and will hopefully bring Mike Scott into a fuller recognition of his songwriting abilities. The standout tracks include: “Let it Happen,” “Is She Conscience?,” “My Love is My Rock in the Weary Land,” “His Word is Not His Bond” and “Dumbing Down the World.”

Darryl A. Armstrong 11/10/2001



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