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Pay Attention
     

Pay Attention

by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
 

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They may have ditched the plaid outfits that were once their sartorial trademark, but the Mighty Mighty Bosstones haven't abandoned the calypso-derived elements that make their punk-pop skank-worthy. And although their refusal to be moved by the public's waning taste for ska-core is admirable, what ultimately makes the Bosstones transcend trendiness is their stylistic

Overview

They may have ditched the plaid outfits that were once their sartorial trademark, but the Mighty Mighty Bosstones haven't abandoned the calypso-derived elements that make their punk-pop skank-worthy. And although their refusal to be moved by the public's waning taste for ska-core is admirable, what ultimately makes the Bosstones transcend trendiness is their stylistic growth on their recent albums, which focus more on song than shtick. PAY ATTENTION, like 1997's LET'S FACE IT, is full of irresistible melodies. The ultra-catchy breakup song "So Sad To Say" is on par with the savvy Bosstones pop classics "The Impression That I Get" and "Someday I Suppose." "Over the Eggshells" -- another breakup song -- has a pissed-off rock-'n'-roll energy that is no less hummable for its snottiness. Same goes for "Riot on Broad Street," which sounds like the Clancy Brothers gone punk, with an Irish folk-style flute part tooting amid the gnarly guitar riffs. As usual, sunny harmonies and sunnier horn parts complement front man Dicky Barrett's gravelly voice, as he approaches social criticism with a generally positive outlook. In "Allow Them," he explains that the "cockroach[es] in the designer suit[s]" will "destroy themselves if we allow them to." And in "Where You Come From," Barrett acknowledges that "the world's greatest writers are all drunks and fighters," while admonishing that "it's not where you come from, it's more where you're going." The Bosstones may not be going anywhere in leaps and bounds, but with PAY ATTENTION, they continue taking small steps and, better yet, just plain sticking around.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' newfound willingness to take their time working out material paid off with Let's Face It, and thus, Pay Attention didn't appear until three years later. Even if ska's commercial momentum had slowed, the album was still worth the wait. Thanks to the band's tight quality control, the tunes here are catchy, but not quite as immediately poppy as much of Let's Face It -- there's more punk and hard rock, with ska rhythms more integral to some tracks than others. The party anthems of yesteryear are pretty much gone, but in their place is a tone of reflective maturity; personal and social concerns are given an equal airing, and the band's sense of humor is still very much in evidence. Moreover, the Bosstones are still trying new musical approaches, as evidenced by the summery island feel of "She Just Happened" and the surprising Irish turn of "Riot on Broad Street." Other highlights include the alternately swinging and skanking opener "Let Me Be," the hard-rocking lead single "So Sad to Say," the bouncy sing-along "Where You Come From," the up-tempo "The Skeleton Song," and the poignant (yet not overly sentimental) album closer "The Day He Didn't Die." A few weaker numbers could have been trimmed without making the album seem short; also, a fairly large percentage of the songs would simply sound like catchy hard rock if the horn section was removed. Then again, it's not the first time the Bosstones have recorded material like that, and in the end, it's hard to see Pay Attention as anything less than the band's third high-quality album in a row.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/02/2000
Label:
Island
UPC:
0731454245128
catalogNumber:
542451

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