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The Waterboys | Where the Action Is

The Scottish singer-songwriter stretches his legs on a literate and eclectic outing.

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WHO ARE THEY? Veteran Scottish singer-songwriter Mike Scott and his latest supporting cast — which has proved to be surprisingly long-lived after decades of revolving-door personnel changes.

WHAT IS THIS? The band’s 13th studio album over 36 years — and a disc that thankfully manages to live up to the leg-stretching hustle ’n’ bustle of its title.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A little bit of everything from ’60s Mod-rock to glammy punk and funky grooves — along with plenty of the moody folk-rock and poetic beauty that are Scott’s usual stock in trade. The deluxe edition includes a bonus disc of remixes, mashups and odds ’n’ sods.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While downing a pint of lager and a pub lunch as you read Yeats down the local.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Literate, artful, sophisticated, smart, anachronistic, catholic, reflective, sincere, colourful, complex.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The vintage opening title-track (a cover of Robert Parker’s ’60s soul classic), London Mick (a tribute to The Clash’s Mick Jones) and the nostalgic rock ’n’ soul of Ladbroke Grove Symphony.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK? That this can’t be the same band that recorded Fisherman’s Blues all those years ago — and aside from Scott and fiddler Steve Wickham, it ain’t.

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? The best tracks might end up on a playlist. The rest, not so much.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A TV SHOW, WHAT KIND OF SHOW WOULD IT BE? One of those eccentric British shows full of quirky characters that don’t really connect with North Americans.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? What could be more fitting than to stream The Waterboys?