Some individuals and bands you just can't get enough of. They capture such a unique vibe and sound that whatever's issued becomes quickly irresistible. Talk Talk was one such ensemble, Talking Heads another, then, covering a bit wider ground, there was Mission UK, Chris Rea, the Cars, Rammstein, and of course The Waterboys with their genius frontman Mike Scott. Pummel me if you must, but I've always seen Scott as a latterday Marc Bolan, and An Appointment with Mr. Yeats goes a long way to buttress that, especially starting with the sprechestimmey Song of Wandering Aengus.
The Mr. Yeats in question on this CD is of course the famed immortal poet William Butler Yeats, who favored myth and fantasy as Bolan did. Whether the legendary Marc was affinitive of Yeats, I can't quite say, but it's likely, as will become obvious when you hear the lyrics Scott sings here. Certainly, regardless, he drew from the same pools as ol' Billy Butler. Scott, too, has not exactly been noted for hard-core realism, instead favoring the metaphorical, poetic, free-sprited, idealistic side of things, even when railing against the failures of the world to fulfill artists' imaginations (an' ya can't much blame 'em, now can ya?).
Yeats is the celebrated group's 10th release and is, as I noted, more of what made the lads famous from the git-go: lush folk rock with classicalist influences and literary foundations. The combo's presently in an expanded mode and features several sessioneers, among then Channel Light Vessel's Kate St. John. Flanking Scott is the redoubtable Steve Wickham on violin, as always beefing up the group's signature Celticly weighted sound. When this song cycle was presented live in a 5-nite sold-out series, the reviews were highly favorable, and I'm sure more than one critic caught the Donovan-y similarities as well, plainly shown in Before the World was Made. Thus, this is, if I may wax whimsical for a moment, "just another" Waterboys release…and thank Christ for that.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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