Released on September 16th 1985, This Is the Sea is indeed The Waterboys’ ultimate musical masterpiece, especially if Scott’s grand vision is to be considered—intricate arrangements, extensive instrumentation, a balance between Folk and Rock influences, and rich literary and traditional references. All the ingredients of The Waterboys’ legacy sound are all there in the mix. The Pan is certainly at the helm.This Is the Sea begins with the dramatic solo saxophone call of “Don’t Bang the Drum,” which slowly builds up into a proper Folk Rock stomper. “Well, here we are in a special place,” sings Scott. Indeed. Just into the first song and he is already fulfilling his promise of taking the listener to that special place of musical pleasure. Sweet and wild with the promise of pleasure.Following immediately is the band’s most iconic song, “The Whole of the Moon,” the epitome of The Waterboys’ so-called big music, summing up everything that is great about the band—poetic lyrics, catchy choruses, a horn section, string orchestration, a rainbow, unicorns, cannonballs, scimitars, and scarves…underneath the stars.In the structural simplicity of the upbeat piano song “Spirit,” Scott was able to channel his mysticism and spirituality in full frenetic glory; short but galloping with enchanting energy. Then there comes “The Pan Within,” the album’s dark and romantic moment, where the fiddle takes center stage. “Close your eyes, breathe slow, and we will begin,” urges Scott. Yes, the journey of the Pan and his Waterboys is just beginning. ”Medicine Bow” is where the listener is taken to next; rhythmically the same as “The Pan Within,” melodically similar, but certainly a more portentous affair: “There’s a black wind blowing / A typhoon on the rise / Pummeling rain / Murderous skies!”The mood becomes nostalgic and the tempo slows down as the next song plays—”Old England,” a beautiful ballad made even more alluring by the interplay of bells and horns and Scott’s unrestrained tenor-range voice, which is akin to that of The Cure’s Robert Smith, yet is more Bluesy and has a stronger tone of urgency. “Be My Enemy” exudes the same piano-led sentiment as in “Spirit,” yet it is when everything gears up—tempo, rhythm, vocals, and the clanging chimes of doom…cymbals crashing everywhere. The first song written for the album, according to Scott himself, “Trumpets” is an onomatopoeic ballad. Your love feels like trumpets. Simple yet majestic. Finally, the album closes aptly with the second-longest track that further indulges the listener to delight in the pleasure which is The Waterboys’ music; “Once you were tethered / Well, now you are free / That was the river / This is the sea!”Over the years, The Waterboys with its music remains to be a big influence on many of its contemporaries as well as on a slew of relatively younger bands operating in similar planes of sounds. Scott and his ensemble may have given all their best in This Is the Sea, but the Pan himself is not yet done with whatever musical vision left in him that he wants to share to the world at large. He is still out there writing songs and making music, most likely staring at the whole of the moon as reflectively as ever. If comfort and nostalgia painted with timeless relevance is what you are after, then This Is the Sea is the perfect soundtrack for such musical indulgence.