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Only a Lad
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Top Customer Reviews
Obviously you have to hear it to understand, but there are elements of bands like XTC, Devo and Talking Heads in their lunatic brand of pop. The energy levels are so high, and Elfman sings with such unhinged commitment, I just can't help loving every minute of it.
This is Oingo Boingo's first full-length studio album from 1981, and it has that edge that only angry young men can project. Lots of intricate horn and rhythm arrangements make for a really diverse 38 minutes listening.
Buy it now, that's an order!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The layering of instruments is really awesome. What You See has so many turns it takes a while to get sick of it.
The lyrics are really clever...I'm assuming Danny Elfman wrote them. They're dripping with sarcasm, dry comments on people in our society...awesome! It takes a real genius to turn a subject like pedophiles into a song that makes you smile and tap your foot.
Speaking of pedophiles, "Little Girls" deserves its own paragraphs. It opens up the album. The first time I heard this song I was like, "this is so awful!". The lyrics were just so...yikes. But at the same time I was having way too much fun listening to it. After awhile you begin to think, "how can you NOT love this song?".
Finally, Danny Elfman is unbelievably fun to listen to. He just might be my favorite singer. The vocals in "What You See" are fantastic. His voice can go from sounding tender to demonic in a few seconds, and he's so expressive.
I think I've listened to nothing but Oingo Boingo for about two weeks now. This CD is a complete earworm! It wriggles into your skull and camps out. Don't worry, you won't mind at all! It's nasty, it's controversial, it's funny, it's a good time!
This is one of my favorite OB recordings. This CD marked the beginning of Danny Elfman's best writing.
If you want to know what true OB sounds like, this is one of the albums to own (along with "Nothing To Fear" and "Good for Your Soul").
You may know Danny Elfman from his movie scores, but this is where it all started. Oingo's greatest hits contains some of these songs, but this album is still worth owning for the lesser-known gems.
No one will forget the opening song, "Little Girls," the absolutely outrageous gleefulness in Elfman's vocals is just a wonderful portrayal (as well as quite sarcastic) of a pedophile. Something that's not a really common topic in music even nowadays. "Nasty Habits," forgetting to put the covers over his head, Elfman quite sarcastically says that "nasty habits I must condone." That song alone is very reminiscent of his vocals for Jack Skellington in "The Nightmare Before Christmas," so if you like that, listen to "Nasty Habits." It will get you in the mood for the pouring out of a world of Elfman.
Many reviews say that the rest of Boingo's material is not nearly as good as "Only a Lad," lacking in the edgy sarcastic lyricism or missing the new wave mark that so many fell in love with. But I think they only got better and better, or at least they changed a lot and just remained good the whole time, I don't know which.
If you like "Only a Lad," I definitely suggest "Nothing to Fear" and "Good For Your Soul" - and check out the rest of Danny's music! He's a genius with flaming red hair and a strange obsession with skeleton artwork.