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A Jackknife to a Swan

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Audio CD, July 9, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Side One Dummy
  • ASIN: B000068TZX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,881 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Jackknife To A Swan
2. Mr. Moran
3. You Gotta Go!
4. Everybody's Better
5. Sugar Free
6. I Want My City Back
7. Chasing The Sun Away
8. You Can't Win
9. The Old School Off The Bright
10. The Punch Line
11. Go Big
12. S#%t Outta Luck
13. 7 Ways To Sunday

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


After six studio albums under their skinny leather belts, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have found themselves back at an indie label. The perplexing part of this equation is these once and future rude boys from Boston have never sounded better or more ready for prime time; their metal-ska punk has been honed to a fine, serrated edge, with much of the furious posturing of years past gone. Always a tight and flashy band, this time out the Bosstones have spent considerable time crafting a set of dynamic lyrics that are cinematic in scope, with a barely hidden moral center that shines brightly. Most of the tunes are small narrative slices of life that might have been "ripped from the headlines," like the gritty, ska-infused "Mr. Moran," based on the life of Mafia turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Bravano, who testified against mob boss John Gotti. The dark subject matter is skillfully integrated in the almost childlike sing-song delivery, with the occasional explosive expletive as reality check and a nod to subtle irony. Others tunes are cautionary tales, like the hard-charging "You Can't Win," which warns that there are different rules for normal folks and rich types: "They're wide awake while you're still in bed / They count the money while you count the sheep." They return again to this theme of the eternal war of "us versus them" on the acerbic "Punch Line," finally settling all questions of personal inequity on the poetic and uplifting "Everybody's Better." This standout song could have ambled off a Jamaican beach, with its casual rhythms and breezy horn section, but once again behind the deceptively simple melody lies profundity: "To be king, you don't need a castle… A true king rules without a crown." On this album, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones truly earn their second modifier and show themselves more than able rule all that they survey. --Jaan Uhelszki

Customer Reviews

My favourite songs are 'Mr. Moran', 'You Gotta Go!'
Angela M. Healey
This is probably one of the best Bosstones albums next to or tied with Let's Face It.
Even if you haven't heard the Bosstones before, buy this album!
George Symeou

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "kingofrock379" on November 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
A Jackknife to a Swan marks the Bosstones' return to the ska-core sound that they made their own in the early 90's. This album follows the experimental, Pay Attention which was released in 2000. Like their 3rd wave couterparts Reel Big Fish, A Jackknife to a Swan also marks a lineup change in the Bosstones, trombone player Dennis Brockenborough is replaced by Chris Rhodes formerly of Spring Heeled Jack and even though Lawrence Katz replaced Nate Albert in 2000, Jackknife is the first album with the Bosstones that he played on and helped write. Both players also make their presence known, Chris with his vocals and Lawrence with his searing guitar parts. The new members also enhance the band which features singer Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, drummer Joe Sirois, and sax players Tim 'Johnny Vegas' Burton and Roman Fleysher.
A Jackknife to a Swan: 10/10, one of the best songs on the album, a perfect way to start, it has a really catchy chorus
Mr. Moran: 10/10, written about Sammy the Bull Gravano, the infamous mafia boss, another excellent song, has some really good lyrics, and Lawrence's guitar playing is realy strong on it
You Gotta Go: 9/10, first single, sounds somewhat like their other singles, ie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian on August 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Ok so the Bosstones, what comes to your mind? Boston? Sure. Suits that make them cool onstage? Definitely! A good CD after years of touring, heartbreaking member changes in the band, many fans and hundreds of cities later? Heck yeah! The Tones are just one of my favorite bands. Pay Attention didn't really cut it for me but I still listened to them. Now that JTAS came out this album is my all time favorite Bosstone album. Some fans think the absence of Nate Albert (former guitarist) really ruined their sound. Not true. New guitarist Lawrence Katz does a great job filling in for Nate with his riffs on the album and his ska groove. And the horns as always do a kick ... job of blending in with Katz's guitar to make that Ska-core sound that the Tones are well known for. All the songs on the CD are different in sound, mood, and message. Dicky Barrett's vocals and the rest of the band will have you off your feet. You want to listen to great ska-core sound, blaring horns, loud guitar that can switch to a ska groove within a second and great song writing done by a great singer? By this album. You well earned money will be really well spent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allison K. Gomer on March 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As the first album released since their divorce from major label, Mercury Records, "Jackknife to a Swan" is proof that a band's label has an effect on the quality of music released. Unlike "Let's Face it" and "Pay Attention," this album is not over-produced or "glossy" from studion effects. The true style and overall vibe of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones shines through, and this could possibly be one of the greatest albums they've ever produced. And those are stong words, coming from a hardcore fan.
The Bosstones really go back their ska-core roots on Jacknife. Credited with coining the term for the hybrid of ska and hardcore punk back in 1983, the boys unarguably lost their edge on their previous mainstream releases. While those were more pop-oriented and tinged with radio-friendly melodies, Jackknife revisits albums of the past, such as "Don't Know How to Party" and "Question the Answers."
"You Gotta Go" hits you at the very beginning with solid, powerful horn lines and the energy of the guitar just carries you all the way to the end. "Mr. Moran," written about Sammy the Bull (who was arrested with John Gotti), takes you from the beginning with its sheer force. "Everybody's Better" takes it down a notch for a reggae-style song, but still retains the natural energy of the Bosstones (could it be the interludes of screaming?). In any case, the energy of this album remains a constant, which is hardly what anyone could say about the majority of popular music out today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "dajeefster" on July 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Wow. The Bosstones are back and free from meddling powers of major-label mayhem. But with "A Jackknife To A Swan", the 'Tones have unleashed mayhem of their own. Mayhem that we can all enjoy! Unlike "Pay Attention", which saw Dicky and the boys branching out from their familiar brand of ska-core, the Bosstones are back with their patented blend of ska, punk, metal, thrash and reggae. After seven albums, two EPs and a live album the Bosstones' sound has only gotten better. So if you're a fan of music - GOOD music - pick up "A Jackknife To A Swan". You will be thrilled, trust me.
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