Home Read Classic Album Review: The Waterboys | A Rock In The Weary Land

Classic Album Review: The Waterboys | A Rock In The Weary Land

Mike Scott returns reinvigorated on his first Waterboys album after eight years.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


For a guy in a weary land, Mike Scott sounds anything but tired. Matter of fact, the only word that does justice to The Waterboys founder and sole permanent member these days is reinvigorated.

On his first Waterboys CD in eight years — his last two discs were issued under his name — Scott picks up where he left off on 1993’s heavy, electric Dream Harder. The tremendous A Rock In The Weary Land is a diary of 42-year-old Scott’s middle-aged disillusionment with the faddish, laddish, dumbed-down culture of the day, with love and music serving both as the rock he clings to and the weapon he wields to smash the tinted windows of complacency. He comes out swinging with Let it Happen, a fuzzy swirl of post-psychedelic fatalism that has more backbone than anything he’s done in eons. The energy level doesn’t remain constant — while Scott has finally got over his Celtic folk phase, he still loves long, grandly arranged, multi-textured anthems. But his tastefully ambitious flirtation with beatboxes and samplers impart Scott’s neo-Dylan troubadour tendencies with a contemporary, rocking edge — hell, We Are Jonah even chugs along to a mascara-thick glam riff. Scott doesn’t care if you approve — “I’m gonna play this show even if nobody comes,” he vows on Crown. But I have a feeling he won’t be alone.