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Oingo Boingo

Crossover Prog

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars I have been looking forward to writing this review for a long time, as this is one of my all time favorite albums.

After releasing their worst album, "Dark At The End Of The Tunnel", in 1990, Danny Elfman changed Oingo Boingo's direction (and keyboardist), added another guitarist (Warren Fitzgerald), matured the sound, and came up with a masterpiece.

From the opening chords of Insanity, which incorporates the moodiness and musical imagery that Elfman often uses in his film soundtracks, this disk offers an exciting, but often dark and frightening ride through the amusement park that was Oingo Boingo.

Elfman's lyric's have never been better than this, whether he is portraying a predator heading down the path of murderous madness in the above mentioned Insanity, a woman leaving her sheltered life in a small town, only to find that discovering the world makes her an alien back at home, in Mary, or just pointing out the inanity of military jargon in War Again. My favorite has to be the epic ending track, Change, a trippy psychedelic piece that a drummer I once played with would call "blow away material".

Despite using the famed Oingo Boingo horn section very sparingly, the music is quite powerful. Steve Bartek, who blends with newcomer Fitzgerald perfectly, unleashes some of his fiercest licks ever. And bassist John Avila, always a treat to see in live performances, is just plain astounding in this album.

The album does let up a bit occasionally, as if to let us catch our breath. Can't See (Useless) , which is actually a quite beautiful song, gives way to the ferocious Pedestrian Wolves, another high point on this album of high points. Spider, a relatively low key (for this album) song, leads into War Again and a hot version of I Am The Walrus, and end with Change.

I wonder if Elfman knew he achieved perfection with this album, as he dissolved the band shortly after this was released.

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Posted Wednesday, July 3, 2013 | Review Permalink

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