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Boingo

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Album Review

The introduction to Boingo's first track, "Insanity," sounds like an unused cut from the Batman motion picture theme , shuffling into an angry and eerie rebellion against Christianity, right wing mentality ("years of evolution and we get Danny Quayle"), and media. The lyrics and instrumentation alone demand attention, but the album is pushed over the top by the inclusion of children's vocals that contain a certain element of hypnotism, reminiscent of the rebellion against school teachers in Pink Floyd's The Wall. This is what happens when someone captures "Children of the Damned" and gives them Danny Elfman as choir director. If one can survive the entrance to the rest of the album, there are depressing ballads and guitar-driven rockers to gain, but nary a hint of the plucky instrumentals on past efforts. Boingo amply covers John Lennon's "The Walrus" and milks up their creative spots on the tracks "Lost Like This" and "Spider." Most enjoyable, and unfortunately only on the cassette version, is the end track "Helpless." "Helpless" is voiced by a Jack Skellington-mode Danny Elfman and nearly parodies the grieving found on the rest of the album. It is an operatically rendered portrayal of a "monster" who has been handed a bad life and has no escape. The group Oingo Boingo was once a party favorite, a cult dish for outcasts and pop-punksters, a Halloween night treasure. With their previous album Dark at the End of the Tunnel they showed signs of slowing down, becoming a bit more thoughtful and age weary. With Boingo they have completely dissipated every ounce of youthful banter and concocted an album that would fit neatly between the shelves of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Every grain of 1990s droopiness and melancholic frustration has been forced into the album, which makes it a risky one. Here is a fun '80s band in every sense of the term and they have made an unquestionable, 100 percent crossover into grim alternative.

Customer Reviews

A Perfect Ending

This album is my reward for all the years I spent defending Oingo Boingo and in particular, Danny Elfman. The only Boingo songs to ever get any real radio play were the silly ones: "Dead Man's Party", "Weird Science" and, "Little Girls". Here, Danny and the boys said "Screw it" and wrote from the heart. You know a band no longer cares about success or making the top 40 when they write songs that are 15 minutes long! There is real poetry and insight here. "Change" is my favorite song simply for the line "And it kills my brain to think of all the stupid things I've said and if I could change the future, I would change the past instead...." This isn't the album to start with if you're new to Oingo Boingo - Try "Good for the Soul" or "Nothing to Fear" and then come back for a listen and see how an artist grow and changes. Thanks for all the great music Danny, I always knew you were a genious!

A Matured Oingo Boingo Sound

This is probably the most underrated Oingo Boing CD there is. My favorite tracks are Change, Can't See (Useless) and Mary. If you like Danny Elfman, you'll probably like this. If you only like the Oingo Boingo's 80's sound... you may not like this. But this is still some of the best music I've ever heard. (Change!!! OMG!)

Excellent!

I was surprised how good this album was. I did not give it a single listen until I heard several of the tracks performed on their final Halloween concert. Insanity is brilliant and really makes you think, Mary is not only muscially gripping but the story is intriguing, and Change is a nice melodic song. I've never been much of a fan of covers, but the other songs are worth a listen as well. Just when I thought Oingo Boingo was going to fade away into obscurity with its earlier songs to carry its legacy, they produce another great album. Danny Elfman is a brilliant composer and musician -- the entire band is/was incredible.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Although Oingo Boingo was often compared to Devo throughout their career (due to both bands' affinity for quirky new wave, goofy stage acts, and most obviously, peculiar yet intriguing band names), Oingo Boingo never obtained the mainstream success that Devo did. But the band did manage to obtain a large and devoted fan base, especially in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA. Oingo Boingo started not as a traditional group per se, as they were originally put together in the '70s by movie director Richard...
Full Bio
Boingo, Oingo Boingo
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