Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 179
Sat. July 27, 2013

“Fiery Flame”
Ian McCulloch


“♫ Just
to be my

You wouldn’t believe it but when you hear Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch beautifully poignant new solo album, his best and most personal since 1989’s Candleland, 2012’s Pro Patria Mori, was written under nefarious circumstances as Mac explained to The Times UK, “The last few years have been a really hard time. My life was collapsing. I was getting bongoed [taking drugs] all the time just to kill the pain. That thing in Glasgow happened because I felt more alone than ever and I took it out on the audience — I was so paranoid that I forgot I was actually on stage. I stopped caring about my appearance. A lot of the people I turned to for help weren’t there for me. For a long time I wanted to close the door and tell everyone to f*** off. I was like Howard Hughes, but without the billions of dollars in the bank.”

All changed when Ian McCulloch decided to channeling his personal demons inside his new album, Pro Patria Mori. More importantly, instead of coming up with a raw Plastic Ono Band album like John Lennon did in 1970, on this solo record, the Echo and the Bunnymen singer decided to go a more emotionally vibrant sound. For years, Ian has been rewriting the rules of the British pop song as he explained in 1984, “I try to change the rules of the standard ‘great pop song’ into being able to be really emotional. I want to try to reduce the distance between acting and reality as much as possible but still create that great pop-ness.” Thirty years later, McCulloch finally succeeded when he composed the most delightfully addicting pop gem, “Fiery Flame.”

The ironic thing is that Echo and the Bunnymen attempted to make a post modern pop album with 2009’s The Fountain, specifically with “Life of a Thousand Crimes.” The difference between “Crime” and “Fiery,” is it sounds like Echo was trying to force a pop song with it’s very loud and distracting back beats and “Flame” is effortless, the melody is supple and flawlessly memorable like a lyrical McCulloch kiss in the Liverpool inspired rainy day opus that is Pro Patria Mori.
Everything seems so much clearer and sharper now,” McCulloch has said and all you have to do is put on Ian’s 2012 solo record, Pro Patria Mori and you will discover a new more poetically seasons sound for the Echo and the Bunnymen singer. Who would’ve believed that in 2012 Ian McCulloch would compose one of his most personal pop gems of his career? This is Mac unleashing his lyrical flame in the sweetest and most poignant way. I urge you to turn on track six and you will hear the “Fiery Flame” aka the golden voice of Ian McCulloch resurrected in the guise of this almost perfect 21st Century anti- pop song.