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Good For Your Soul

Track Listing:

Who Do You Want To Be? - Good For Your Soul - No Spill Blood - Cry Of The Vatos - Fill The Void - Sweat - Nothing Bad Ever Happens - Wake Up (It's 1984) - Dead Or Alive - Pictures Of You - Little Guns


BAM Magazine 9-23-83
On their past two efforts, Oingo Boingo shoved guitars, horns, and other sounds through your ears with the velocity and force of a speeding Amtrak. Like any good train ride, the results were divided: it was exhilarating for some and made others throw up. Good For Your Soul isn't exactly a dramatic departure from their trademark sound but is far less abrasive than previous efforts. "Fill The Void," with sassy horn arrangements by lead guitarist Steve Bartek, bops along with a ska beat Byron Lee would be proud of. Leader Danny Elfman even throws in an offbeat love song, "Pictures Of You," proving he has more on his mind than just little girls. Elfman also makes some perceptive, if slightly slanted views on suburbia and the paranoia that goes along with it. "Nothing Bad Ever Happens" spells out the it-could-never-happen-to-me attitude with sarcastic scorn while "Who Do You Want To Be" ironically lashes out at the trendiness of our times. His long standing rejection of the '60s and the romanticism that goes along with it is defined in clear cut terms in "Wake Up (It's 1984)." One of the gems is "Cry Of The Vatos," an African-derived instrumental full of martial drums and electronic buzzes that evolved out of Elman's hijinxs in the studio.  Is Good For Your Soul a positive direction change? Yes and No. Although Elfman and Company show more depth musically and lyrically here, radio still plays only fast songs. That characterization may be difficult to defy.

-James R. Fender