The Waterboys – Where The Action Is (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:34 minutes | 504 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Cooking Vinyl Limited
Following the acclaim of 2017’s Out Of All This Blue (awarded four-stars in Q Magazine and The Independent), The Waterboys with their new album, Where The Action Is.
Its title inspired by Robert Parker’s 1960s mod / northern soul classic, Where The Action Is is a 10-song, genre-defying album, testament to the enduring talents of the band’s founder and front man Mike Scott. One of the finest British songwriters of the past four decades, his songs have been covered and recorded by artists including Prince, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Steve Earle, and Ellie Goulding (who had a number three hit with a How Long Will I Love You).
Like a briefer, though similarly eclectic sequel to 2017’s ambitious double-album Out of All This Blue, the Waterboys’ 13th outing, Where the Action Is, sees Mike Scott continuing his unexpected dalliance with dance and hip-hop-influenced rhythms, while also delivering the more straightforward rock bangers and folk-infused introspections that are his bread and butter. It also maintains the prolific run of material that started with 2015’s Modern Blues, marking a surprisingly fertile period which also saw the band’s return to the higher reaches of the U.K. album charts. In spite of some of its more contemporary sonic experiments, Where the Action Is has a rich thread of nostalgia running through its veins in the form of various tributes, personal ruminations, and revisitations. With its snappy Lord Buckley samples and chirping organs, the title cut is a boisterous update of Robert Parker’s 1966 hit “Let’s Go Baby,” from which it borrows its tone and name. The equally raucous “London Mick” honors Clash guitarist Mick Jones, while mid-album highlight “Ladbroke Grove Symphony” recounts in loving detail Scott’s early days as a young romantic rocker in West London’s then-Bohemian center. In another corner of the classic Waterboys spectrum is a pair of tracks rooted in Scott’s life-long affection for literature; the springy electro-folk of “Then She Made the Lasses-O” is a modern outgrowth of poet Robert Burns’ Green Grow the Rashes-O, while the elegant chamber-folk closer “Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is built around an impassioned reading of a passage from Kenneth Grahame’s immortal Wind in the Willows. Even if some of the quirkier dance-addled cuts like the beat poet-rap of “Take Me There I Will Follow,” miss their mark somewhat, Scott deserves credit for continuing to add new layers to the Waterboys’ ever-growing musical patina, and as goofy as parts of it are, the song’s refrain is still pretty catchy. Overall, Where the Action Is is another reliably interesting and well-written addition to the band’s latter-day renewal. ~ Timothy Monger
1-1. The Waterboys – Where The Action Is (03:24)
1-2. The Waterboys – London Mick (03:10)
1-3. The Waterboys – Out of All This Blue (03:38)
1-4. The Waterboys – Right Side of Heartbreak (Wrong Side of Love) (04:32)
1-5. The Waterboys – In My Time on Earth (05:43)
1-6. The Waterboys – Ladbroke Grove Symphony (05:14)
1-7. The Waterboys – Take Me There I Will Follow You (03:58)
1-8. The Waterboys – And There’s Love (02:34)
1-9. The Waterboys – Then She Made the Lasses O (02:14)
1-10. The Waterboys – Piper at the Gates of Dawn (09:03)