Album 0025: Oingo Boingo – Nothing To Fear

Release Date: 1982
Genre: New Wave/Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Grey Matter (05:52)
2. Insects (03:04)
3. Private Life (03:18)
4. Wild Sex (In The Working Class) (04:07)
5. Running On A Treadmill (03:21)
6. Whole Day Off (03:58)
7. Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself) (03:54)
8. Why’d We Come (03:58)
9. Islands (04:41)
10. Reptiles And Samurai (05:19)

Total Length: 41:33

Grey Matter is one of the best songs ever written, bar none. The instrumentation and arrangement is so perfect it boggles my mind, the lyrics are catchy and thoughtful, the vocals are fantastic, everything just shines about this song. It’s also a song where it really doesn’t feel as long as it is. Those six minutes go by so fast it’s unbelievable. I have probably listened to this song too many times to count, I’ll never stop loving it. It was also the first use of the band’s own invented percussion instrument, the rumbaphone.

Insects is a weird mix of some heavy rock and dance music. Surprisingly the combination works perfectly. The transition from heavy bass to funky bass is always awesome. There is also awesome little samples and keyboard parts, along with a cool horn riff. The lyrics don’t necessarily matter too much in this one, but they are fun. Private Life is another one of the greatest songs ever written. We are back to really poignant lyrics this time, along with some rumbaphone goodness and the whole band is on point. Just a fantastic track.

Wild Sex (In The Working Class) has a great driving beat, and the vocals are infectious. Once again the percussion shines here, and there is just so many little things to love about this song. They do embellish this song a little bit on later recordings as well which I loved. Running On A Treadmill has gotten pretty much ignored since it’s release, but for being the most ‘poppy’ song on the album, I just love it. It’s fantastic to sing along to and the arrangement is really fun.

Whole Day Off has some of the weirdest lyrics, with its main competition being on this very same album. The arrangement is equally odd. It’s just a weird song overall, but I can’t help but love it. Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself) is a somewhat darker track than the rest of the album up to this point, but retains the flair the band has. The lyrics pretty much make the song. Why’d We Come is a fantastic song. The intro is creepy and haunting, and the main chunk of the song is just rocking, and I really don’t like that the band never played this live. It’s such a cool song.

Islands is actually the darkest song on here. Introspective, depressive lyrics and a sense of foreboding creep over the whole song. Steve Bartek’s guitar work is also pretty haunting. I really do like the song, even though it’s not an ‘active listening’ song for me. Reptiles And Samurai has again some impenetrably odd lyrics, but it works in the song’s favor. This song is pretty much the best representation of Boingo’s ‘quirkiness’.

This remains probably my overall ‘favorite’ Boingo album, though it’s hard to pick. There is a lot of variety here, and I love the production. The songs are fantastic, and fun to sing along to. Just a brilliant album overall.

Final Rating: 10/10

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