On this album, Was (Not Was) explores various blends of funk, rock, dance and pop styles with delightful results. There is much quirky humour in a song like I Feel Better Than James Brown, an addictive tune with a hypnotic beat that pays tribute to James Brown’s masterpiece I Feel Good. The lyrics are just priceless!
Unusually for Was (Not Was), they also explore the dark side of life in Maria Novarro, a powerful song with a nervous beat and disturbing lyrics about domestic violence: “In the city of Angels, there’s no mercy and there’s no tomorrow for Maria Novarro …”
Adding to the charms of this multifaceted album is Leonard Cohen who contributes the main vocal on Elvis’ Rolls Royce over a jazzy background. The next track Dressed To Be Killed is a jerky rap number with lovely sax infusions, whilst Just Another Couple Broken Hearts is a mellow ballad.
Always the masters of rhythmic innovation, Was (Not Was) provides a dazzling display of textures on Are You OK? It is my favorite album by these imaginative musicians.