I Just Can't Stop It was a late arrival onto the checker- boarded scene, the Specials, Madness and the Selecter had all beat the (English) Beat to the punch, but luckily this wasn't a race. Besides, the band had already primed the pump with a trio of Top 10 singles -- the double A-sided "Tears of a Clown"/"Ranking Full Stop," "Hands Off She's Mine" and "Mirror in the Bathroom," their debut album followed hard on "Mirror"'s heels, picking up the latter two songs and "Full Stop" to boot. Two more of the tracks within set followed them onto the chart, later that summer on another double A-sided single -- "Best Friend" coupled with a dub version of "Stand Down Margaret"." So this was a hit filled set. And so popular were such songs as "Rough Rider," "Twist and Crawl," "Can't Get Used to Losing You," and "Whine & Grine," becoming such staples, that fans can be forgiven for assuming they too were released on 45. Intriguingly, "Losing You" came courtesy of Andy Williams, and highlighted the softer styling that would swiftly overtake the Beat. But "Rough" and "Whine" had solid ska credentials, both were Prince Buster hits, while "Jackpot" was one of slew of racing themed rocksteady smashes that drove The Pioneers too fame, The Specials had opened their own account with another -"Longshot Kick the Bucket"." And it was this sheer diversity of influences that set The Beat's sound apart from their compatriots. Their own compositions were heavily cultural in theme -- the radical cries to depose the prime minister on "Margaret," the slashing anti-violence of "Two Swords" and even more ominous and feverish "Click Click," through the cultural nihilism of "Mirror" itself. With a few softer love and lovelorn tracks taking some of the edge off. Stop was a stunning achievement, its driving, frenetic numbers grounded in punk's fury smashing into the loose-limbed grooves and melodies of rocksteady inspired songs, and banging head on into sweeter pop fueled pieces. The album remained on the British charts for a whopping eight months, eventually peaking at Number Three. Time has not diminished its glory, the songs remain hugely as their continued inclusion in the band's offshoot's repertoire have proved.
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AllMusic Review by Jo-Ann Greene