Ted S. (stsaks) from AVON, NY Reviewed on 6/23/2007...
80's techno pop, got it for Mexican Radio, there was little else I liked
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Saddle up and let's ride!
A. Clark | Seattle, WA United States | 08/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is cool and in listening to it you are thereby cool as well. By reading this you are either already a fan looking for yet another review lauding the praise of this album or are unacquainted with the band and are curious. If the latter, in all likelihood you've heard "Mexican Radio" and you're thinking of buying this just so you can put the actual song to the vague memories you have of the tequilla saturated night you heard this. If this is so, I was like you (minus the tequilla...I was a young un when this was released). Though "Mexican Radio" is still one of my favorites from this release I was thoroughly impressed by this album as a whole. In fact, there are no weak songs at all. It's simultaneously quaint and timeless. Quaint in that the drum machine sounds ancient and clunky and that the synths sound like the toy synthesizer you always wanted as a child. Timeless in that the lyrics are hilarious and depressing at the same time. The American dream and all its pitfalls and dead ends are portrayed for the myth that they are with no short amount of irony and tongue in cheek humor. Anyone who's lived in a small town will definitely appreciate this, unless its your buck toothed cousin Leonard who thinks moving to LA and buying a rubber swimming pool for the kids sounds just dandy. This would do well as the soundtrack of a John Waters film. And lest you think this is an electronic album the twangy (saddle up cowboy!) guitars will surely appease you. Be cool and lets ride into the smog choked sunset."
Surreal Mexicans, cowpokes, and factory workers
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 09/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Mexican Radio" is one of my all-time favorite songs, I must've heard it a 1000 times and it still hits me fresh. "Factory," "Call of the West," "Lost Weekend," "Spy World" and "On Interstate 15" are the other standouts, and they are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for any self-respecting pop fan.The whole record has an eerie mood that's quite timeless--full of cheesy sounds and surreal narratives at every turn, glued together by a bizzare underlying humor. In fact, on the strength of this one record, Stan Ridgway was recruited by Francis Ford Coppola to collaborate with Stewart Copeland on the fantastic soundtrack for "Rumble Fish.""
walkup | Oklahoma City, OK USA | 03/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like most everyone, I bought the album for Mexican Radio. And few can deny that this was a wonderful hit. But after listening to the album in detail it dawned on me that the songwriting is especially strong in some of the lesser-known hits. The harmonica on Lost Weekend is especially atmospheric -- you can feel the hot air passing through open windows of a car driven by a couple after losing their life savings gambling. Factory also hits on the "dead-end life" theme, telling the story of a factory worker whose life has lurched into the mundane, yet is too complacent to even realize it. Call of the West continues the theme, describing how, despite dreams of grandeur, most are destined to sell appliances at the local ... The loser is a common theme in rock, especially when losing is romanticized into a blue-collar, down-on-your-luck, falling-off-your-barstool theme, a la Bruce Springsteena and most Southern Rock. But Wall of Voodoo sang about a different kind of loser, whose circumstances are neither tragic nor newsworthy. There are no suicides, drinking binges, drug busts, or love triangles in these songs. Just sad existences by those that will never amount to anything and are too caught up in their own petty existence to realize it."
Fan-tastic album!!! Needs a sixth star !!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Hermitage. PA USA | 02/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember screaming along to "Mexican Radio" with a carload of fellow teenagers in early 1987 listening to the shortlived WXXP in Pittsburgh. I bought the album for the "...barbequed iguana!!" but soon found that every song on the album became a favorite. I can quote every word to every song even now twelve years later. The feeling of alienation and being lost in a sickening depraved West that barely had anything in common with TV matched my own feelings about life at the time. I was nineteen and seriously ******* up. Wall of Voodoo was a bitter cynical comfort that helped leech the pain of the world's snakebite on my soul. Oh yeah, it was funny too. One of the best albums I ever owned. The cassette tape didn't leave my car 'till the early '90's when it wore out..."
Way out West and ahead of their time
Jesper B. Poulsen | Copenhagen, Denmark | 03/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This IS it !!!!! If you are an European (like myself), and want to know what America is all about, (both above and below the surface), you get it here - served with a blink in the eye, a smile, alot of fun, and some frustrations. It is all their - blended nicely together. Wall of Voodoo is phenomenal in American music. Not many other US artists can create such an precise look and perspective on their homeland and the western culture in general. And always served with a surplus of humour !! The song "Call of the West" is perhaps the finest rock/pop song ever crafted. Big words, but it is hard to beat. Overall, the lyrics (actually more accurate: full-blown stories) are second to none and the music was perhaps 20 years ahead of its time - mixing rhytm-machines, keyboards, electric guitars in a great mix ! Get it. I will make your life a little richer (which is actually alot) and a whole lot cooler !!