Customer Review

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great mix of all past Madness styles in one album, 1 Nov 2012
This review is from: Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da (Audio CD)
I'd give this 4.5 out of 5 if I could.

This is a mixed bunch of songs, covering sounds you might have heard on any of their albums from their early days right up to Norton Folgate.

I must say that I don't agree with all the reviews, which shows that this album manages to cater for quite different tastes. Personally, I prefer the early ska sound of Madness (instead of the later pop sound), so I'm reviewing this album based on the fact that I really wanted it to be a One Step Beyind or Absolutely.

Song my song:

MY GIRL 2 - slightly repetitive and too radio friendly for me to love it, but very catchy and (as others have said) sounds a little like Tainted Love mixed with Good Thing (which is not necessarily a bad thing). [7/10]

NEVER KNEW YOUR NAME - slower than some of the other tracks, but a beautiful song with a disco(ish) feel to the chorus. [7/10]

LA LUNA - I have noted that some reviewers love this song. I struggle to even like it much. For me, one of the weakest tracks on the album. Lots of trumpets accompany almost spoken vocals. Might have been a good choice for an instrumental. [5.5/10]

HOW CAN I TELL YOU? - another slow(ish) song (in places), but great lyrics and fun to listen to. Has a really catchy chorus. [7.5/10]

KITCHEN FLOOR - another catchy sing-a-long that you'll be singing along with after a couple of listens. Some great guitar solos here too. [7.5/10]

MISERY - a new(ish) sound from Madness. A rather jazzy sound (merged with the early-days Madness fairground sound), and a backbeat that reminds me a little of Chas and Dave! [8/10]

LEON - mid-paced track that is a little in the style of some of the later Beatles work (slightly Strawberry Fields feel to this song). Fairly catchy, but the jumps from upbeat music to almost talking vocals are a little annoying in places and impact the flow. [7/10]

CIRCUS FREAKS - a little odd sounding in places, but another catchy tune that would not have sounded out of place on the Absolutely album. [7/10]

SO ALIVE - has a beat not vastly different from Misery, but with a little more of a typical Madness sound (although, scarily, the "once in every lifetime" section sounds a little like Summer Holiday era Cliff Richard in places!) - Another fairly catchy song. [7/10]

SMALL WORLD - another almost spoken slow song. Beautiful music, but just never seems to get going. Sorry Madness, but this one bores me. The chorus does lift the song slightly (but reminds me too much of modern day Take That) [5/10]

DEATH OF A RUDE BOY - a nod to their roots. Not as fast as you might have expected back in their One Step Beyond days, but this certainy has more of a ska feel to it than anything else on the album. [8/10]

POWDER BLUE - horrible organ(ish) intro and spoken vocals get me yawning before the song has really started. It does pick up a bit once it gets going and has some good lyrics, but if you prefer the more catchy songs then you might struggle a bit with this track. [5/10]

BLACK AND BLUE - absolutely brilliant! My favourite song on the album. Very catchy chorus compliments a song with a light ska back-beat. This would have not seemed out of place on One Step Beyond or Absolutely. If it had not been for the pointless "wedding bells" section of this song I might have given it a 10. [9/10]

MY GIRL 2 REMIX - starts quite slowly, so not as instantly appealing as the normal version. However, this does not sound so much like Tainted Love and Good Thing - there is a much more typical Madness feel to this version. If you can get through the first half of the song then the second half really comes to life (with a few shouts thrown in for good measure). I much prefer this to the main version - just because this has a "ska" feel to it rather than the "pop" feel that the main version has. Really catchy. [8.5/10] - this should have been the single!

Overall a very good album, but for me three quite boring tracks (LA LUNA, SMALL WORLD and POWDER BLUE) prevent it from getting 5 stars. Not sure why "Big Time Sister" did not make the album.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Nov 2012 21:08:50 GMT
Some of the scoring for the tracks are a bit low. I've just bought the CD and I just can't stop playing it. Most of the tracks are fantastic. When I first listened to the CD the songs that stuck out were HOW CAN I TELL YOU (BEST TRACK), MISERY, NEVER NEW YOUR NAME and SO ALIVE but the more I listen to the album the more I like the rest of the tracks. Easily the best album since their early career releases.
Absolutely Love it. Well done boys.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2012 08:12:31 GMT
I gave most of the tracks between 7 and 9. Out of 14 tracks I gave 3 low scores (and still 5 / 10 or higher) :-)

I would agree that it is probably the best album since Absolutely, but even Absolutely had one or two tracks I would have only give 5 out of 10 :-)

Posted on 8 Nov 2012 01:33:25 GMT
A. Foss says:
I've got to agree with a lot of this review. Maybe I too would have cranked the scores up just a little but that's just splitting hairs.
The big thing that has to be said is that I too lost more than a little love for 'The Nutty Boys' when they left their ska roots & went mainstream poppy & hangin' about with the establishment. Tho' some of their stuff has still been listenable - it's never been the same as early on. Decent review Pardeep.

Posted on 13 Nov 2012 16:50:50 GMT
Interesting review. Thanks for the song by song analysis. Yet your global rating (4.5) does not match with your rating for individual songs (the average is ca. 7/10)... There is still room for better consistency there.
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