The Waterboys find space for romantic and rebellious reflection on All Souls Hill

Mike Scott continues prolific period and embraces collaboration on 15th Waterboys album All Souls Hill

The Waterboys: All Souls Hill cover art
(Image: © Cooking Vinyl)

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Between 2017 and 2020, Mike Scott and crew released a thrilling trilogy of albums, culminating in Good Luck, Seeker, which revived his muse via an eclectic mix of hip-hop rhythms, biblical epic rock and nostalgic confessionals. 

All Souls Hill, the fifteenth Waterboys album, feels like a reset, a detour probing new directions, as befits an album written and produced mostly in collaboration with Simon Dine, who recharged Paul Weller’s career.

It’s instantly accessible, as the grooves of The Liar (swiping at Trump) and the title track underscore his romantic and rebellious reflections. 

Later, he shakes the tree, covering Robbie Robertson’s Once Were Brothers, reinterpreting folk oldie Passing Through with modern political references and a gospel choir, and veering into spoken word on In My Dreams. Best of all is Blackberry Girl, a breakneck, blazing rock’n’roll love song.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.