Logan Albright | Marietta, Georgia USA | 11/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm surprised this is out of print, because if you ask me it's THE one to get. Not only is it their moost spooky-fun record (forget Dead Man's Party) but it's also their most intelligent, shot right through with literary themes. No Spill Blood is based on The Island of Dr. Moreau and Animal Farm, and Wake Up (it's 1984) is based on George Orwell's "1984". I also suspect that "Pictures of You" is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait" although I could be wrong (if I am though, I have no clue what it's about.). However, I think what I like most about it is that sense of frantic paranoia which runs through the entire record, and is largely absent from later releases. This feeling is embodied perfectly in Swead and Dead or Alive (the best song about zombies ever). Now I know what you're thinking. "I can get most of these songs on the Boingo Alive compilation, so why bother hunting this down?" I love the Boingo Alive collection, but if there's one album the rerecords failed to capture, this is it. It's just not the same, folks. I can't conclude this review without mentioning the album's closer "Little Guns." This is probably one of the weirdest songs they ever recorded and no Boingo collection is complete without it. It rocks. Also, great saxophone solos throughout. I bought my copy used on vinyl and ripped it to cd, but there are obviously bettter ways to go about it. So get thee to a record shop, consumer!"
Most underrated Oingo effort and retains it's potency
M. Tefer | MN, United States | 02/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1983's Good For Your Soul was evidence that OB was at the top of their game. It's a great follow-up to 1982's Nothing to Fear and not a distant cry from it either. To this day, Good for Your Soul sounds like it was recorded yesterday (some 21 years later). In other words, it was far ahead of it's time. Critics have argued that this album doesn't focus as a whole, but I disagree. It's true the songs here do not work together lyrically, but what does weave together is the driving, clanky goofy persona and noise textures. It was just the potion Oingo needed to fire up their next album. This is the sort of stuff which Weird Al would hate to admit, but was his true influential roots along with Devo.Most noteably Good for Your Soul feels more like a transitional album (though not a concept album) between 1982's Nothing to Fear and 1985's Dead Man's Party. Good For Your Soul includes the fractured, goofy lyrics of Nothing to Fear but a more accurate and synchronized musical growth found on Dead Man's Party."
Music That Is Great For Your Soul
The Orange Duke | Cupertino, Ca United States | 03/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There never has been a band like Boingo, and maybe there never will be again. The closest thing at the time was Adam Ant or Juluka; the only thing close recently was legendary LA alt band Sad Monster. Driving, propulsive and frenetic, Boingo did not just encourage you to dance; they demanded that you do it. Add to this sharp, witty, quirky lyrics and you get a manic dance band that only the New Wave era could have produced. Scorned by critics, ignored nationally, Boingo's unique brilliance has yet to be truly appreciated, but if you lived in LA in the eighties you knew all about them. In that city, in their time, they were king. No one has ever matched them. Many have suggested that this album was not as good as ONLY A LAD or DEAD MAN'S PARTY, but in truth the band is just as good as ever. It is a superb album overflowing with excellent tracks. Note how the use of brass and the use of the almost echoing chorus punch up the excellent `Wake Up (It's 1984)'. Check out the quirky angst of `Who Do You Want To Be' or the manic intensity of `Cry Of The Vatos'. Ponder the mystery of "Pictures Of You' and `Dead Or Alive' (Boingo's Halloween obsession needs no better introduction than the latter track). Thrill to the driving tension that is `Sweat' (which deals with the trauma of teenage sex), enjoy the esoteric vision that is `No Spill Blood' (based on Wells). Stroll with the sarcastic indifference of `Nothing Bad ever Happens To Me' (`Did you here about Fred whose unemployed, they threw him away like a useless toy, he went down the drain after 20 long years, no warning, no pension, nobody's tears, and I can't believe that anyone would, wanna do such a terrible thing, but why should I care, nothing bad ever happens to me'). Cruise with `Fill The Void' or `Good For Your Soul'. From the former check out the lyrics: `They all come to me with their demands what do they want from me, what do they want from a boy who can't believe? They want to fill the void, they want to fill the empty spaces but I won't let them consume me with the rest of the lifeless faces' you'd be hard pressed to find a better expression of adolescent angst (except perhaps, on `Sweat'). Not a guilty pleasure, but a timeless treasure"
Evil genius at work
Kid A | Boulder, CO | 05/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There hasn't ever been anybody that sounds like Oingo Boingo, and this is by and far Oingo Boingo at their creative peak. I'd like to know who has their head planted firmly up their nether regions when it comes to the fact that this CD is out of print. That is a huge disservice to all of us.
Oingo Boingo released an EP around 1980 that was followed up by "Only A Lad" in 1981. I haven't heard the EP, but Only A Lad is a fantastic sophomore effort. Oingo Boingo really hit their peak, though, with 1982's Nothing To Fear. Good For Your Soul continued in the same tradition with the fast, almost manic toe-tapping rhythms and sinister lyrics.
If you liked their more familiar radio hits like Dead Man's Party, you've now touched the tip of the iceberg. Run, don't walk, and pick up Nothing To Fear. If you can get a hold of Good For Your Soul for a decent price, do it. The vinyl is readily available for a great price, too, if that meets your needs.
If you're not at all familiar with Oingo Boingo, I'd be hard pressed to come up with some comparisons. There simply isn't anybody like these guys. All I can say is that if you're a fan of '80s music at all, you need Oingo Boingo. Check out Fill The Void, No Spill Blood and Little Guns from this release. You won't be disappointed."