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Boingo

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 17, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

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Danny Elfman has written soundtracks (Batman et al.) for the last decade, so it's no surprise he's ditched the hyperkinetic pop of the Oingo Boingo era for more mature, long-form epics in reviving his old band. Most people will run screaming from Elfman's intensity and dense wordplay, but the emotional depths plumbed by tracks like "Can't See" (Useless) and the 16-minute fever dream "Changes" ensure cult acclaim. --Jeff Bateman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: May 17, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Giant Records (Warner)
  • ASIN: B000002L22
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,913 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is the best album I've bought in a long time. I bought this album because I had heard "Insanity", and it blew me away. I am still amazed every time I hear that song. The first time I listened to this disc, I was struck by the fact that most of the music sounds very much like a late Beatles album, complete with "I am the Walrus". Of course, I mean that as a very high complement. This version of "Walrus" is so well done, mostly faithful to the original recording, but still unique. To me, "Lost Like This" sounds like some of Lennon's solo work, and the multi-faceted "Change" even has the bass line and some rhythm guitar parts from "Taxman" in one section. As anyone who has listened to Danny Elfman's other work (with or without Oingo Boingo) would expect, most of the subject matter is much darker than anything the Beatles (or many other artists, for that matter) wrote about. With that in mind, I agree with the other reviewer who recommended buying the cassette version of this album just to get the song "Helpless", a swirling, twisted, and macabre waltz. I am also partial to the two touching and intensely personal songs, "Mary" and "Can't See (Useless)". My only negative word about this album is that "Pedestrian Wolves" runs a bit long for my taste. In conclusion, "Insanity" still stands out, but the rest of the album is phenomenal.
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Format: Audio CD
When I bought this CD in '94 it completly blew my mind. As Elfman's last studio rock album it bridges the gap between his soundtrack and pop carreers. INSANITY begins the album with an eerie orchestral score reminicint of his Batman music combined with his always sinister lyrics. And the album's mood never changes after. Even when covering the Beatles I AM THE WALRUS they're on a macbre rollercoaster of rock that rivals even the Beatles' performence. The closer is one of the band's most dynamic pieces CHANGE. It lasts a whole 15 minutes long and goes through at least 4 diferent changes in tempo troughout until coming back to the original beat at last. Of course for those with short attention spans, on the live record its half as long (while still 8 minutes long). Noone else in rock has ever used orchestrations in such a way as only Elfman knows how on this album. If you like Elfman's film scores, this is a good introduction to Oingo Boingo. Or if youre a Boingo desciple this is a great intoduction to Danny's fabulous film work. This is a gorgeous monstrosity of music and every track is some of Boingo's best.
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Format: Audio CD
Danny Elfman entered into the 90s rock style with songs like "War Again" and "Mary," but I always said that I loved Boingo for their ability to be emotionally ambiguous. Elfman's experience in film scoring has effected this album greatly, especially in "Insanity" and "Change," and I think that alone made this album more emotional in general than the others. I'm fighting back tears when listening to "Mary" while I drive," and "Insanity" makes me hate everybody for about eight minutes. Although many have disliked the change in feel, "Boingo" comes into the darkest realm of any of Danny's music I've ever heard, and it gains that manic sort of idealism that he always hinted at (in things like "Nothing to Fear" and "Glory Be") but never fully explored.

Of personal note is Track 5 "Pedestrian Wolves." One of my all-time favorite Boingo songs, and the second longest next to the last track on this album. "Pedestrain Wolves" captures this gritty bloodlust that seems very realistic somehow, and he revels in the filth of it - although I daresay he is only portraying this, like an actor, rather than writing down his own feelings. He rarely writes about his own feelings, and when he does, it's preachier and less emotional (except maybe "Insanity," which is just creepily murderous). And this song somehow feels similar to the beginning of "Batman Returns." If you watch it after listening to "Pedestrain Wolves," you'll know what I mean.

Also, don't go biased into this album. The cover of "I am the Walrus" IS NOT John Lennon OR the Beatles style. But Danny has always been very similar to them anyways... But I think he does a wonderful job with it, so listen. He's got a better range than Lennon.

Of note: "Lost Like This." Musically darker than most of Danny's stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
Wow, I can't believe the people here saying that Danny Elfman wanted to get in on the grunge craze and copy Nirvana. There is nothing on this album that even remotely sounds like grunge music. If you prefer Oingo Boingo's older material then fine. Personally I find it to be way too cheesy and way to "80's pop" for my tastes.

What Danny Elfman did here was bring together some of the members of Oingo Boingo for an entirely new project (hence the name change to just "Boingo") and tried to create a dark, forbidding piece of pop music combined with his classical music style. What he created is a musical masterpiece and an instant classic album. I'm not even remotely interested in getting Oingo Boingo's back catalogue but I will still be listening to this album for years to come. Yes it's dark, yes it's depressing and it's altogether brilliant.

The only disappointment is that Elfman decided to call it quits in terms of pop music after this because I would have loved to hear what else he could have come up with had he continued in this direction. Keep an open mind and ignore the negative reviews.
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