Album 0010: Oingo Boingo – Only A Lad

Release Date: 1981
Genre: New Wave/Ska/Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Little Girls (03:44)
2. Perfect System (03:46)
3. On The Outside (03:51)
4. Capitalism (03:41)
5. You Really Got Me (04:37)
6. Only A Lad (03:57)
7. What You See (03:55)
8. Controller (03:26)
9. Imposter (03:00)
10. Nasty Habits (04:08)

Total Length: 38:05

Little Girls kicks off this album with a little horn intro before the song proper. The song is fun, well arranged, well produced, and just a ton of fun. This song has unfortunately gotten some bad types of attention in recent years as people don’t realize that Danny Elfman writes his lyrics in first perspective, even if it’s something he doesn’t agree with. The idea behind this song was based on old men he had seen driving around in LA with young women in the car. This still remains one of my favorite songs ever though, it’s just too good. Perfect System is really good. It’s a song the band pretty much ignored after this album’s release, but it’s got some fun lyrics and a cool atmosphere that is kind of depressing. The gang vocals are ridiculously cool in the bridge.

On The Outside
to this day remains one of my favorite songs ever. The lyrics are great and really spoke to me back when I first heard it nearly ten years ago. It’s got a unique style and sound, the horns are great, I just love everything about. It’s even got a pretty cool bridge, which slowly got eaten away at throughout the years. I’d talk about the song more but it would just be more gushing. Capitalism is another song written in the first perspective, but this time Danny is kind of criticizing both sides. A lyrically interesting song but not my favorite musically.

You Really Got Me is a cover of the classic Kinks song, and they make sure to make it unique with heavy use of a vocoder. I think the song goes on a bit too long but is still fun. Only A Lad is another of the best songs ever written. Insanely good lyrics, cool instrumentation, an awesome chorus… it’s just an amazing song. Danny’s singing is great on it as well. What You See is probably my fourth favorite on the album, and I wish the band didn’t ignore it after this album. It’s such a cool song, especially the bridge which might be one of the best things I’ve ever heard due to the production and arrangement.

Controller is sort of similar to Perfect System in that it gives off the vibe of a depressing future, with unknown powers in control. In this song it’s about nameless figures that can come and get you at any time. Sort of paranoid, but still fun. I will say that I wish they had kept in some of the cool stuff that was in the demo version. Imposter is a song written about a very specific critic of the band, and is pretty fun but not the best of the album.

Nasty Habits is a fantastic ending song. It once again changes thing up with a new vibe/feeling, and has very fun lyrics about the things people hide in their private lives, of the sexual variety. Just such a cool song. I could write on and on about this album, whether it’s the writing, the arrangement, the musicianship, the singing, the production… I just love it. I admit that it has a few flaws, but damn if I can’t look past them.

Final Rating: 10/10

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