New and Improved Specials!
Joe Graham | Davis, California -- US of A | 06/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the guitarist Roddy Byers being one of the few remaining Specials, the band's old sound, like that of the 2-Tones, has now changed to a newer sound. Lack of musicians Terry Hall and Jerry Dammers make for a changed sound in the band, a new sound all-together. I tend to enjoy the new sound of "Today's Specials" a little more than the other albums though. The new sound has more of a reggae feel with the still present Ska type upbeat of the original Specials. The Specials helped in the production and invention of what today is known as Second Wave Ska. With a Jamaican beat, The original Ska sound of bands like The Skatalites were taken and expanded upon to form sounds like that of The Specials and other "2-Tone like" bands in the early 70's. This album has developed a dramatic change in The Specials. Songs like "Pressure Drop" and "Dirty Old Town" shape the sounds of the album. "Take Five" was a great song choice for an intro to the album. Sounds of a solo Trombone and Trumpet (Adam Birch) add to the rich sounds of Roddy's guitar. The album progresses through "Pressure Drop" and other songs to end with a slow mellow song, "Bad Boys." An echoing solo Trumpet serenades the listener into the completion of the album. Many people complain that it is too much of a popular sound. I tend to believe that it is a wonderful mix of the old Specials sound of albums like "The Singles Collection," with an added faster, more modern sound of reggae and some sounds that resemble that of Sublime. I tend to believe that Sublime got their sounds from The Specials rather than the other way around, but it is an accurate comparison. Overall I believe that The Specials have made a success of this album. I believe that "Today's Specials" expresses the sound of the new and improved Specials. For being a comeback album, with many lost musicians, the band is rhythmically tight and sounds great."
No Terry Hall & Jerry Dammes = no Specials
Winthrop T. Harrison | 08/01/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Like the Velvet Underground without Lou Reed, the Specials boiled down to one bloke is cabaret at best. Terry Hall was the main singer, Jerry Dammers was the direction. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. I would urge Hall & Dammers to hire better lawyers. Why pollute a legend?"