Oingo Boingo

Boingo

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    5
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The introduction to Boingo's first track, "Insanity," sounds like an unused cut from the Batman motion picture theme , shuffling into an angry and eerie rebellion against Christianity, right wing mentality ("years of evolution and we get Danny Quayle"), and media. The lyrics and instrumentation alone demand attention, but the album is pushed over the top by the inclusion of children's vocals that contain a certain element of hypnotism, reminiscent of the rebellion against school teachers in Pink Floyd's The Wall. This is what happens when someone captures "Children of the Damned" and gives them Danny Elfman as choir director. If one can survive the entrance to the rest of the album, there are depressing ballads and guitar-driven rockers to gain, but nary a hint of the plucky instrumentals on past efforts. Boingo amply covers John Lennon's "The Walrus" and milks up their creative spots on the tracks "Lost Like This" and "Spider." Most enjoyable, and unfortunately only on the cassette version, is the end track "Helpless." "Helpless" is voiced by a Jack Skellington-mode Danny Elfman and nearly parodies the grieving found on the rest of the album. It is an operatically rendered portrayal of a "monster" who has been handed a bad life and has no escape. The group Oingo Boingo was once a party favorite, a cult dish for outcasts and pop-punksters, a Halloween night treasure. With their previous album Dark at the End of the Tunnel they showed signs of slowing down, becoming a bit more thoughtful and age weary. With Boingo they have completely dissipated every ounce of youthful banter and concocted an album that would fit neatly between the shelves of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Every grain of 1990s droopiness and melancholic frustration has been forced into the album, which makes it a risky one. Here is a fun '80s band in every sense of the term and they have made an unquestionable, 100 percent crossover into grim alternative.

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