Mumbo Jumbo

Song Review by

An underrated gem, "Mumbo Jumbo" is one of the few songs on Squeeze's East Side Story that would fit comfortably on their earlier albums. Producer Elvis Costello had deliberately pressed songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford to stretch themselves musically in the writing and recording of this album, which makes "Mumbo Jumbo" seem either like a leftover from earlier sessions or a comforting sign of familiarity for longterm fans. The former is possible -- with its jangling sixteenth-note piano figure and singsong vocal melody, "Mumbo Jumbo" admittedly sounds like an outtake from Argybargy -- but in the context of the album as a whole, "Mumbo Jumbo" sounds more like a revision than a throwback. Costello's production doesn't have the brittleness that plagued Squeeze's first few albums, and Tilbrook's singing, in a lower register than he normally uses, and the band's performances, particularly Gilson Lavis' up-front but not excessively showy drumming, are similarly confident. It's an obscure album track, but it's also one of Squeeze's best songs.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
East Side Story 1981 A&M 3:14
Six of One... 1997 Import 3:16