10 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Heavier, funkier, and more focused than its predecessor, Oingo Boingo’s 1982 effort Nothing to Fear is regarded by many fans as the band's best album. The three leadoffs cuts—“Grey Matter,” “Insects,” and “Private Life”—show that Boingo was arguably the most danceable of all the new wave groups. It took the nuance of Talking Heads and the swift timing of The Police and made things bigger, wackier, and more colorful. When Danny Elfman sings about “Reptiles and samurai/Inhabit my head/Invading my dreams/Sleeping in my bed,” he could as easily be talking about his unconventional musical notions. Despite Elfman’s comical vocal style and the presence of unorthodox instruments like marimbas, the songs keep the driving momentum and sweat-infused joy of a juke-joint dance party. Without a doubt, Boingo’s secret weapon was its horn section; even in the wackiest songs, it lends the band a little bit of down-home, Otis Redding–style soul.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Heavier, funkier, and more focused than its predecessor, Oingo Boingo’s 1982 effort Nothing to Fear is regarded by many fans as the band's best album. The three leadoffs cuts—“Grey Matter,” “Insects,” and “Private Life”—show that Boingo was arguably the most danceable of all the new wave groups. It took the nuance of Talking Heads and the swift timing of The Police and made things bigger, wackier, and more colorful. When Danny Elfman sings about “Reptiles and samurai/Inhabit my head/Invading my dreams/Sleeping in my bed,” he could as easily be talking about his unconventional musical notions. Despite Elfman’s comical vocal style and the presence of unorthodox instruments like marimbas, the songs keep the driving momentum and sweat-infused joy of a juke-joint dance party. Without a doubt, Boingo’s secret weapon was its horn section; even in the wackiest songs, it lends the band a little bit of down-home, Otis Redding–style soul.

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