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Ocean Rain is a stunningly beautiful album, all midnight hues of celebratory heartache. It breaks from their jagged early post-punk sound, adding a vibrant, cinematic string section. 'Whatever burns, burns eternally,' McCulloch sings on "Nocturnal Me" self-examining the gothic tendencies of the band, the themes of darkness, fire, ice, religion and doomed romance, vampiric love songs. That cover art, of the band paddling a boat through deep blue water caves, McCulloch testing the waters ahead, is gorgeous and evocative. Like most of their album covers, there is a certain mythic heft to it, a sense of something timeless and vast, oceanic. They did feel that what they were making was the greatest album ever made, and that confidence saturates the music, along with cold, European rain and battering sea storms, even as the band was starting to bristle and break apart.

Those drowned, echoing piano notes in the shimmering "Killing Moon" falling away into the background are a perfect induction, everything in the song is in a state of dreamy delirium, Will Sergeant's glittering guitar feints reminiscent of Tom Verlaine's on Marquee Moon. It is the album's serene climax, from the rising power of the first group of songs and off into the incredible elegance of those that follow, the last four songs on the album the strongest run of songs the Bunnymen ever made, perhaps indeed produced by anyone in that decade. "My Kingdom" is vicious with fire and damnation and then, finally at end, the vast and magnificent title track is icy absolution in ebb and flow. 'Screaming from beneath your waves.' Perfection itself.

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