Evergreen

Echo and the Bunnymen's reunion album doesn't quite hit the high-water mark of their 1984 classic, Ocean Rain, but it's a stunning comeback nonetheless. While late drummer Pete De Freita's tribal fills are missed (he died in a 1989 motorcycle accident), the remaining three-quarters of Echo find their hypnotic chemistry intact. Frontman Ian McCulloch brings his brooding melodrama to full flower on cuts like "Don't Let It Get You Down," on which he wonders, in his debauched baritone, "how it feels to touch the flame." Guitarist Will Sergeant flows effortlessly from the title track's Ennio Morricone-meets-raga drones to the Byrds-style hooks he drops into "In My Time." Evergreen also shows Echo keeping up with the Joneses — or at least the Gallaghers: Oasis' Liam Gallagher performs background vocals on "Nothing Lasts Forever," and "Just a Touch Away" features McCulloch droning a cadged bit from Oasis' "Live Forever." It's a phrase that Echo appear to have taken to heart.