Sheer poetry and exuberance--a joyful tour de force
Dave Awl | Chicago, IL USA | 10/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame that Room to Roam isn't better appreciated. Even many Waterboys fans look past this wonderful tour de force, a rich and dazzling pastiche of styles and moods--a kind of electro-Celtic Sgt. Pepper for the 90s. Some fans who were attracted by the somewhat more traditional and stripped-down sound of Fisherman's Blues (perhaps the closest Mike Scott ever got to making a Pogues album) have failed to appreciate Room to Roam's greater experimentation. But as far as whole albums go, for richness and variety of musical styles, as well as sheer poetry and exuberance, I think Room To Roam has a slight edge over Fisherman's Blues.In fact, Room to Roam is a solid tie for my favorite Waterboys album, along with This is the Sea. There's not a note of RTR that isn't blessed by the goddess, and a number of these songs are among Mike Scott's finest moments, including "Something That is Gone," "How Long Will I Love You," "A Man is in Love," "Bigger Picture" and "Raggle Taggle Gypsy." "Raggle Taggle" in particular is one of Mike's most joyful and electrifying performances on record--it never fails to send me through the roof.What I love about Room To Roam is that it's wonderfully true to both the traditional folk AND the experimental, electronic impulses in Mike's work. That may be the very thing that alienates some of the folks who were attracted by the more "pure" sound of FB, but for me it's that amazing blend of styles that puts Room to Roam at the top of the Waterboys' canon. Any album that encompasses well-executed traditional Celtic folk like "Raggle Taggle Gypsy," or "Kaliope House," as well as the heartbreaking eloquence of songs like "A Man Is In Love" or "Something That Is Gone" (complete with that stunning backwards saxophone break)--not to mention the Abbey-Road rapture of "Bigger Picture"--well, let me just say that Room To Roam is still one of those rare albums that makes me glad to be alive each and every time I hear it."
One of my favorites
Ian Barclay | Washington state | 02/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit I haven't heard "Fisherman's Blues" yet, but wow, what a weird mix of traditional Irish music and, and, .....weirdness? some form of rock I guess. I like this album because it exhibits such a great deal of creativity in blending different genres of music, while keeping the traditional Irish sound throughout. It is musically capitivating, and the lyrics are quite good as well. Probably I wider variety of musical instruments are used here than in any other album I have heard......mandolin, bagpipes, didjeridu, trombone.....sounds dreadful I know but they are all integrated together beautifully."
Dennis | Alberta, Canada | 10/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Waterboys album I have heard, over 20 years ago. I appreciate this album more today than the first time I heard it. Nothing compares to shear genius of lyrics, sweet rythms, and variety of musical styles and instruments. You need to listen more closely each time you hear it to really appreciate the talent hear. I cannot recommend this album more. I own both Fishermans Blues and This is the Sea but when it comes to sheer imaginative genius, this album tops all."
Excellent folk rock
Dennis | 04/11/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Waterboys in their heyday, between the anthem rock period and the breakup of the band. Mike Scott returns to his roots and some of the most endearing modern Celtic folk rock ever recorded."
Only if you love Irish Folk music
C. Foster | Louisiana | 11/04/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most boring Waterboys albums. Way too far in the Irish direction for my tastes. Doesn't rock at all; it's for those who love Irish folk music and slow songs only. If you like the Big Music sound of early Waterboys or the killer rock songs of Mike Scott's Still Burning, avoid this one."