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Vacation is not quite all I ever wanted
on 28 November 2002
This somewhat disappointing follow-up to the Go-Go's groundbreaking debut CD Beauty and the Beat contains a few good tracks mixed in with a number of rather unpolished, forgettable songs. The title track is great, vintage Go-Go's, their only easily recognizable track from this release. He's So Strange, We Don't Get Along, I Think It's Me, and This Old Feeling are quite enjoyable, although they lack the real sort of edge the Go-Go's brought to their more successful recordings. Worlds Away is the real gem on the album, featuring a catchy tune with wistful, meaningful lyrics. Then there is the vapid Girl of 100 Lists and annoying Cool Jerk. I know a lot of fans enjoy the song Cool Jerk, but I have always held it in low regard. The rest of the music is energizing yet essentially meaningless. This album seems to have been rushed in an attempt to leapfrog over the amazing success of the group's first album, and many of the songs do little to promote Belinda Carlisle's singing ability; in fact, I think this album largely explains why Belinda had to struggle long and hard to win respect for her singing abilities during her later solo career. It's Everything But Partytime features the line "we're all looking for a good time, but all we get is empty rhyme." Unfortunately, that line applies pretty well to a number of tracks on this album. Vacation is fun, but it is clearly inferior to the other two vintage Go-Go's albums.