The holy run of The Waterboys' 1980s albums - The Waterboys, A Pagan Place, This Is the Sea and Fisherman's Blues - couldn't last forever. However, Mike Scott has somehow rediscovered his touch. Book of Lightning is almost a fusion of their "big music" and Celtic swing, Steve Wickham's evocative violin recalling the loftier heights of Fisherman's Blues. However, there's a new humour, with Scott poking fun at the weary public image of him as residing at the top of a mountain with Pan at one side and Arthur Guinness at the other, unleashing a succession of killer one-liners. Crucially, he is again writing songs that feel like they have been handed to him from a crack in the clouds. The delirious, heady waltz of Everybody Takes a Tumble, salvaged from the Fisherman's sessions, is possibly the best song he's completed since 1985's The Whole of the Moon.
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author