Oingo Boingo

Dark at the End of the Tunnel

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Danny Elfman, lead singer of Oingo Boingo, knows how to make great music. With his penetrating charisma he can pull many a song through in his own wacky direction and style, making it equally dark and fun. Dark at the End of the Tunnel seems misguided, as though Elfman has lost sense of the music he is "meant" to make, or maybe he had been dabbling in too many musical scores at the time to keep track (he was gaining momentum as a darn good film scorer with hits like Batman and Edward Scissorhands). There are only moments here and there that will remind you of the madman's laugh riot Oingo Boingo used to be. That would be fine, except that the remaining songs are bland and dispirited. Elfman takes a shot at pure pop on "Try to Believe," which is uniquely positive and emotional: Who knew he had it in him? He spreads those hidden wings of emotion even further on the mercifully tender and comforting "Out of Control," which is about as close to a lullaby as you are likely to hear from this group. What a wonderful idea it would have been to use one of the most artistic and clever singer/lyricists of the 90s and his inspired band to create an entire album of pop and ballads. What might be a selling of pride for Elfman could have been a huge benefit to the world of pop with his distinct voice and ability. He gives us a taste of what could have been, along with "Flesh and Blood," a tantalizing blend of vocals and rhythmic mischief that make the album glow, however briefly.

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