Since their 1997 comeback, Echo & the Bunnymen have made some genuine attempts to keep the momentum going. Evergreen and What Are You Going to Do with Your Life? were eager, bright, and still a little brash. Flowers was nice with its light canvas; however, most fans still preferred their earlier material. That's not to say an older Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant don't make great music together. It's just that the recent material seemed too prosaic. Their sound is so distinctly their own with Sergeant's silvery, tight guitar work and McCulloch's fashionable, sweet-and-sour kind of vocal charm. Siberia, Echo's tenth studio album (including the sans-McCulloch disaster, Reverberation), is the album the two school friends have been trying to make since getting back together to record Evergreen. This 11-song set has every crass beat of Crocodiles and every sparkling thread of Heaven Up Here while the edgy pop moments of the underrated Porcupine are sprinkled throughout. And of course, Ocean Rain will not be forgotten. If anything, Siberia mirrors the passion of that 1984 classic most of all. Sergeant's playing has never sounded better, particularly on the playful self-reflections of "Parthenon Drive" and "Of a Life." McCulloch's lyrics are exactly on par, and vocally, he's sharper than ever. Call it an age thing, but Siberia makes total sense for where Echo & the Bunnymen stands 20 years on as a band. They couldn't have created this album before now. Songs such as the bittersweet musings of "Stormy Weather" and "All Because of You Days" capture Echo & the Bunnymen at their most confident. Album standout "Scissors in the Sand" finds the band's usual cool and cocky demeanor still intact. Really, Siberia is a beautiful album. All those years ago, Echo & the Bunnymen gave the world some "songs to learn and sing." With Siberia, they do it again.
AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson