Album 0100: Oingo Boingo – So-Lo

Release Date: 1984
Genre: New Wave/Pop/Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Gratitude (05:14)
2. Cool City (03:28)
3. Go Away (04:02)
4. Sucker For Mystery (05:19)
5. It Only Makes Me Laugh (04:06)
6. The Last Time (04:13)
7. Tough As Nails (04:39)
8. Lightning (03:46)
9. Everybody Needs (03:50)

Total Length: 38:38

Okay, first things first: technically, this is a Danny Elfman solo album. However, 2 of the songs were demoed for the band’s previous album, and another 3 or 4 of the tracks were performed by the band live and so I consider it a band album. Anyway, Gratitude is a fantastic song. Really evocative lyrics and it’s catchy as crap. Just great. Cool City is flat out amazing though. The atmosphere on this track is just dripping, it really feels like a big, dirty city and the lyrics are amazing.

Speaking of atmosphere, Go Away has possibly the best arrangement for a pop song ever. The tons of different sounds going on in this melancholic piece is amazing. It wows me every time I hear it. Sucker For Mystery is decidedly weaker than the previous tracks, but oh man is it still good. More fantastic atmosphere, and the descriptions of someone obsessed with mystery (novels or movies). It just maybes goes on a touch long. It Only Makes Me Laugh is a complete change in direction, with a ska song based on Schadenfreude. Words can’t describe how much I love this song.

The Last Time is more of a ballad, and it’s not my favorite song but I never regret listening to it. Danny gives a fine performance. Tough As Nails is the first song that was demoed for Good For Your Soul. It’s a funky song about machismo people. Pretty scathing, honestly. My only real complaint about the song is the weird dolphin sample they use two or three times. The bridge though is a 20-year precursor to how Danny does the Oompa Loompa voices.

Lightning was also tried out for the previous album. It’s a song I’ve never really been able to get into, but I don’t mind. Danny has some great vocal moments in it as well. Everybody Needs is pretty cool, but definitely isn’t up to par with some of the other songs. Still has some good moments though. The highlight of this album is for sure the first couple of songs, but I really do just love this album. It’s such an odd slice in the history of the band and I struggle to figure out how none of these songs were big singles.

Final Rating: 9/10

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