Sound — 8
The band's sound has strong emphasis on guitars, due mostly because of three guitarists. The guitars seem to fit nicely with the music. Danny Elfman fails to disappoint with his unique voice that manages to sound apart from the music, and rises above so that his morbid emotion can be felt. There other instruments going as well with the guitars such as unique percussion (the beginning to "Insanity"), and addition of brass instruments. The general sound of the album gives off the usual Danny Elfman feel: morbidity, darkness, things we generally don't like to think about. Though, I was taken back by the heavy electric guitars because I mostly know Elfman for his soundtracks with Tim Burton. It seemed to draw away from the sound of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, The Nightmare Before Christma, and Edward Scissorhands. The band also performs a decently sounding version of The Beatles's song "I am the Walrus". In the end, I found myself liking the band's unexpected musical touches.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics (which I had to read to understand them better), are probably the most distressing and darkest lyrics I have ever heard. Elfman's voice powerfully express emotions of madness ("Insanity"), longing ("Hey!"), and the breakdown of human reason ("War Again"). My personal favorite is "Pedestrian Wolves" which I believe is a metaphor comparing wolves to mob gangs in cities. The lyrics to "Insanity" are by far the darkest. The song talks about the collapse of a human mind while turning Christian religion into a satire. Every time I listen to it, I get goosebumps. Overall, the lyrics to this album definitely have the familiar Elfman-ish morbid feeling that his musical genius seems to always express. By far, the strongest aspect of this album is the lyrics (though they might not be understood on the first listen).
Overall Impression — 9
I have never listened to any other of the Oingo Boingo albums too much. I mostly listened to the band because of Danny Elfman. But once I listened to this album, I instantly became a fan. It wasn't quite what I expected (especially how dark it was), but I found myself liking it the more I listened to it. It's a pity Elfman refuses to to do a reunion with the band (he's suffering from hearing loss) because if they were to release a new album, I would buy it the first chance I got.