Modern Blues (album)

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Modern Blues
Studio album by
Released19 January 2015[1]
LabelHarlequin and Clown
ProducerMike Scott, Paul Brown
The Waterboys chronology
An Appointment with Mr Yeats
Modern Blues
Out of All This Blue

Modern Blues is the eleventh studio album by the Waterboys, released on the independent label Harlequin and Clown in 2015. It was produced by Mike Scott, with two tracks being co-produced with Paul Brown. Modern Blues reached No. 14 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 2 on the UK Independent Albums Chart.[2][3]

Modern Blues was recorded in Nashville.[4] "November Tale" was released as the first single from the album and a music video for the track was directed by Robert Jan Westdijk.[5] The video for "Beautiful Now", the second and final single, debuted on 2 February 2015 on the website of Entertainment Weekly.[6][7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
American Songwriter[8]
Drowned in Sound[9]
The Guardian[10]
The Irish Times[11]
Record Collector[13]
The Telegraph[14]

Upon release, Neil McCormick of The Telegraph commented: "Modern Blues is a rich, aromatic stew of classic rock and beat poetics, with Scott on a quasi-mystical quest to comprehend his own muse and every band member playing out of their skins."[14] Mojo considered the album to be the best Waterboys release since Fisherman's Blues.[12] Hal Horowitz of American Songwriter described Modern Blues as a "rock and roll album" and added: "It's the raw, rocking that keeps you locked on songs that never let their grasp weaken. Scott sounds completely rejuvenated here, [making] Modern Blues one of his most compelling releases."[8]

Paul Mardles of The Guardian felt the album's material contained a blend of "southern soul [and] fiery blues", but "with mixed results". He stated: "The best tracks are a testament to Scott's storytelling skills. But the singer is still a fan and his songs try too hard to mimic the swagger of the artists Modern Blues namechecks."[10] Tony Clayton-Lea of The Irish Times highlighted songs such as "I Can See Elvis", "November Tale" and "Beautiful Now", but felt that "matters get slightly messy with the longer songs".[11]

Ian Abrahams of Record Collector concluded: "...while Modern Blues is far from disagreeable musically, the words will have long-time followers speculating where Scott's at."[13] Dan Lucas of Drowned in Sound felt the album was "pedestrian" and concentrated on "chugging power chords and cheesy guitar riffs". He wrote: "'s inconceivable that anyone who loves the nuances and the emotional connections forged by the likes of Fisherman's Blues or This Is the Sea could find the same pleasure in something so vapid as Modern Blues."[9]

Track listing[edit]

1."Destinies Entwined"Mike Scott5:46
2."November Tale"Scott, James Maddock5:19
3."Still a Freak"Scott3:59
4."I Can See Elvis"Scott, Jay Barclay5:48
5."The Girl Who Slept for Scotland"Scott, Freddie Stevenson4:56
6."Rosalind (You Married the Wrong Guy)"Scott5:10
7."Beautiful Now"Scott, Maddock3:58
8."Nearest Thing to Hip"Scott, Maddock5:43
9."Long Strange Golden Road"Scott10:23
LP bonus track
10."Long Strange Golden Road (Acoustic Demo)"10:23
Japanese CD bonus tracks
10."Louie's Dead Body (Is Lying Right There)"Scott4:13
11."Colonel Parker's Ascent into Heaven"Scott2:08


Chart (2015) Peak
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[15] 18
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[16] 66
Dutch Albums Chart[17] 18
German Albums Chart[18] 46
Irish Albums Chart[19] 10
Norwegian Albums Chart[20] 10
Spanish Albums Chart[21] 76
Swiss Albums Chart[22] 56
UK Albums Chart[2] 14
UK Independent Albums Chart[3] 2
US Billboard Independent Albums[23] 36



  1. ^ "Modern Blues - The Waterboys | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "WATERBOYS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50 | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  4. ^ "The Waterboys". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  5. ^ Paul Stokes (15 January 2015). "The Waterboys – November Tale — Q Magazine". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Watch the New Waterboys Video Here". 9 February 2015.
  7. ^ "New Video From "Rapture-Inducing" New Waterboys LP (Via Entertainment Weekly) | Shore Fire Media". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  8. ^ a b Horowitz, Hal (9 April 2015). "The Waterboys: Modern Blues « American Songwriter". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  9. ^ a b Lucas, Dan (14 January 2015). "Album Review: The Waterboys - Modern Blues / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Archived from the original on 27 January 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b Paul Mardles (18 January 2015). "The Waterboys: Modern blues review – Mike Scott tries on some swagger | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  11. ^ a b Tony Clayton-Lea (19 January 2015). "The Waterboys: Modern Blues | Album Review". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "Modern Blues by The Waterboys Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Modern Blues - Record Collector Magazine". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b Neil McCormick, Music Critic (17 January 2015). "The Waterboys, Modern Blues, review: 'quasi-mystical'". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  15. ^ "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  16. ^ "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  18. ^ Steffen Hung (23 January 2015). "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  19. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  20. ^ Steffen Hung (23 January 2015). "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  21. ^ Steffen Hung (25 January 2015). "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  22. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Waterboys - Modern Blues". Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  23. ^ Billboard (25 April 2015). "The Waterboys Modern Blues Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 27 January 2019.