Stereo Review Magazine
Oingo Boingo (vocals and instrumentals). Home Again; Where Do All My Friends Go; Elevator Man; New Generation; My Life; We Close Our Eyes; Not My Slave; and two others. MCA-5811 $7.98, (c) MCAC-5811 $7.98 (d) MCAD-5811 no list price.
PERFORMANCE: Hepped Up
One look at the cover of "Boi-Ngo" and you know these guys are hot--any group this goofy looking HAS to be getting by on talent. Oingo Biongo's first album is an eccentric, hyper-charged, and charming record, bouncing with double-time, peripatetic arrangements, curious, twisting melodies, and acrobatic vocals. For a band with two saxophones, a trumpet, and two guitars, Oingo Boingo is strangely dominated by the vocal work of its members--they're almost New Wave Doo Wop.
Lead singer and songwriter Danny Elfman is smart enough to play to this strength. His hook-laden songs all feature outstanding vocal arrangements, from the cascading chorus of "Home Again" to the finger-snapping a cappela intro on "Where Did All My Friends Go" to the rich harmony of "We Close Our Eyes." Although it's a West Coast band, Oingo Boingo is almost British in outlook and energy. Songs like "Home Again," about the brave front we put on when we're out in the world, hiding the overwhelming urge to crawl up into a ball when we get back home, and "My Life," a gem of synth-pop musing, convey the same kind of dazed-and-confused-but-making-the-best-of-things attitude that typifies British pop. Quirky, unassuming, and thoroughly engaging. Recommended.
[Note from Mike Yada: the article contains a couple of errors, (i.e. Boi-Ngo is not their first album...) but I type it as it appears in the magazine.]