The Fine Art of Rats
John Morgan | Ridgewood, NJ | 04/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the ONE! After 'Tonic for the Troops' and before 'Mondo Bongo'. The 3rd album, it has "I Don't Like Mondays" and then it gets better. "Somethings Looking At You". "Diamond Smiles" with the gold lame belt. "Wind Chill Factor (Minus Zero)". - 'In the end there's dancing songs and smiles. We need lots of smiles.' "Having My Picture Taken". - 'Best I've ever done it'. "Fingers Lullaby" - a lullaby for adults. And that's only side 1. "Mondays" - terror on the playground. Even banned for a while. "Nothing Happened Today" - bit like The Police's "Any Other Day" quirky with a driving beat. "Keep It Up" - 'Does it let you down - Sometimes.' "Nice N Neat" - drumming featured and concoctions of religion. "When The Night Comes" - Relax and unwind. "This concludes episode 3, we will return shortly." Bring on the BOX SET, please."
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 10/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Boomtown Rats had advanced their ambitions quickly over two albums, going from punky power rocks to anthems of the common Englander. For the third album, they began to go for the arty. The first single was unlike anything else they'd attempted, the controversial "I Don't Like Mondays." No guitars, just piano and an orchestra. The payoff was a huge international hit everywhere but the US.It also finds Bob Geldof moving on to darker themes. Granted, the first two albums played with themes of suicide and paranoia, but for every "Living On an Island" on "Tonic," there was also a more lighthearted "She's So Modern." On "The Fine Art Of Surfacing," the songs are still often exuberant and hook laden, but thematically, never quite as chipper. It makes for some great songs again, especially "Wind Cill Factor Minus Zero" and "Sleep (Fingers' Lullaby)." "Surfacing" was the last excellent Rats album, even though "Mondo Bongo" has its moments, the Boomtown Rats' records after this were never as even or as exciting."