Eek-A-Mouse

Eek-A-Nomics

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Crossover success at last, and who would ever have imagined that a quirky DJ with a penchant for nonsense syllables, a high-pitched nasal voice, a bizarre if unique style, and a love of mouse ears would find an international audience. But eight years on from his breakout in Jamaica, Eek-A-Mouse cemented his success with Eek-A-Nomics. The opening track did the honors: Yep, Eek was back again and undeniably the biggest freak in sight. The brilliant "The Freak" stormed through the discos and clubs, trailing Gothic horror and musical chaos behind it. Nothing could equal it, and wisely the Mouse didn't try, filling the rest of the album with a solid set of songs that tear up borders and musical boundaries with a fabulous crossover sound built to appeal to the dancehalls, discos, and college rock crowds. It was a breathtaking achievement, one that owes much to the stellar arrangements and productions, the former the work of drummer Noel Alphonso and bassist/pianist Paul Henton, the latter overseen by Alphonso, RAS label head Doctor Dread, and the Mouse himself. The musicianship of all is superb, with Ronald Butler's guitar work providing sheer exhilaration, his searing rock guitar leads crucial to the album's sound. Henton is equally adept, his sinuous, high-stepping basslines driving the tracks, while his piano riffs are a pure delight, with Alphonso's expert rhythms underpinning the entire set. Eek, meanwhile, proves himself the most versatile of stars. From the threat of "The Freak," with its bonus dance mix appended on CD, to the romance-minded lover man of "Champagne" and "Do Me," across the roots man of "Whatever Me Ago Do" to the tongue-twisting toaster of "Glamity" and the goofiness of "Goon-A-Goon," this Mouse is master of all he surveys.

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