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on February 8, 2000
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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on October 11, 2000
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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on October 15, 2005
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. In the vein of "Islands" or "Pictures of You," it explains a very confusing sort of emotion that I think we've all felt, just not exactly as Danny puts it, but it's the same, trust me. Don't overlook this track! It's great. It's fun. And it's all Danny Elfman. Not to mention Steve Bartek and stuff, too, but Danny delivers the goods more solo style in "Boingo" than in "So-Lo," so he really does deserve most of the credit.

This is not your father's Oingo Boingo. Enjoy it for what it is. And buy it, too.
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on March 13, 2007
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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on January 11, 2004
This album is a great dark treasure. Elfman brings the experience he gained doing movie soundtracks to create a dark, disturbing masterpiece. As great today as when it was released and just as politically topical.
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on June 8, 2001
This album should've finally showed the world the twisted, mesmerizing talent of Danny Elfman and co., but rather it quietly found its fans among boingo loyalists and picking up a few (among others) Tori Amos fans (don't ask me why).
Boingo is a wild ride from start to finish. Insanity is an 8 minute opus that grabs from all the facets of Elfman, from the wild worldly percussion of boingo past to the symphonic, theatrical side of Elfman we've come to love. Of course, contained withing are the maddening lyrics of Elfman. The song becomes aptly titled as Elfman rages on like a corrupted, insane minister preaching about the insanity of society.
Elfman shows a soft side rarely seen before with the songs Useless and Mary, both appearing as beatlesque tributes. Mary is striking both musically and lyrically, as Elfman tells the story of a girl banishing herself from all she once loved because of a burden that lay on her heart. Skillfully written, the listener finds where the character's trouble truly lies through clues placed within the song.
Boingo gets loud on Hey! and Pedestrian Wolves, which could stomp all over anything on alternative radio today. The lyrics bite hard as Oingo Boingo add a series of loud guitars to their already diverse musical lineup. Hey is, well, like the opening line says, a commentary without much to say with elfman ranting and raving like the overgrown kid we all know he is.
Pedestrian Wolves may drag on too long for some (clocking in at around 9 minutes), but it grows more pleasurable after a few listens with its raging guitars with a hypnotic bridge stuck in there. Elfman also creates a very visual picture with the speaker of the song clearly being corrupted by sin by a "couple of pedestrian wolves," taking pleasure on a "soft red cloud of desire." Elfman, here, much like in many of oingo boingo's works, become's submerged in immorality and depravity.
The boys have fun, paying tribute to much of the inspiration on the album with a traditional tribute to the beatles with I Am the Walrus, ended with boingo boys being kooky with Tender Lumplings.
The show stopper, of course, is the final 16 minute track Change, which is a fun little end to Boingo's career which spanned all of 17 years. The song goes everywhere from loud percussion, guitars, sweet sounding pop, to loud screaming - a true celebration of Oingo Boingo's career.
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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2008
This album is by Boingo as Oingo was dropped from the title. It is not the only thing missing in this album. Oingo Boingo's music was always dark with a somewhat danceable beat to it. This album is just dark and really has no sing along songs on it. Not the kind of cd you want to play at a party. It is so different from other cds put out by Oingo Boingo that you scratch your head and ask yourself why would they release as this their last cd? Huge Oingo Boingo - so fan of Boingo.
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on September 27, 2008
I thought I'd write a review because there's one key thing about this album none of the reviews address. Elfman had been doing Oingo Boingo for a few years before he began composing movie scores. His star has faded a bit in the last decade, but in the late 80's - through much of the 90's he was one of the very biggest, busiest composer's working.

Up until this album, he had made a point of not letting his composing work cross over into his Oingo Boingo work (Elfman effectively was Oingo Boingo- he wrote pretty much everything for that band as well and his band mates were pretty much hired musicians). With this final Boingo studio album he finally decided to let his two musical worlds mix together and see what the result would be (he also fired half the band for this one). The results are simply stunning, and it's a shame he only did this the one time.

Most people will agree that this album is totally different than the bands body of work. Some love it for this reason, some hate it. The thing people forget is that the general consensus was that Oingo Boing had been slowly sliding down hill for years, sounding safer, more commercial, and arguably more bland. The band (and the man) who would right such edgey frightening songs as (I like) Little Girls and Nasty Habbits had long ago been replaced by a band that was getting dangerously close to adult contemporary. Slowly Elfman's biting sarcasm and uncomfortable humor had been becoming more and more gentle and benign. The people that call this album dark are really forgetting where it all started. Musically it was a whole new animal (and a brave, jaw dropping one), but lyrically this was the closest he'd been in a very long time to where he started.

(also of note- the Farewell live album includes 5 (or 4 if you're lucky enough to have the tape only track helpless) additional tracks written for this album that were ultimately not released. Helpless and Water are both show stoppers stronger than many of the cuts on here, their omission was criminal. Piggy, Clowns of Death, and Burn Me Up are fun but ultimitely don't amount to much.)
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on July 20, 2007
Oingo Boingo (Boingo by this album) has obviously influenced music in the 80s. Their work was always fun and frequently poignant.

By the time of this album, grunge music was all the rage and few listeners wanted the Oingo Boingo geek sound. Unlike previous albums, this album isn't fun sprinkled with a message. Angry, depressed and hopeless at times, "Boingo" was not another grunge album, even though it's theme and tone resembled the main-stream music scene. Many people complained that Oingo Boingo as simply trying to cash-in and failed to capture the grunge feel. These critical reviews failed to capture the very personal frustration of the band and how they were "loosing touch" with their audience. This band, was once a darling of the college-radio scene, became out-of-date.

Perhaps their sound was tired for the 90s listener, but the music does not fail to convey their meaning. If you enjoyed "Skin" from Dark at the end of the Tunnel or the themes behind "Is This", "Help Me", and especially "On the Outside" then I HIGHLY recommend this album.

Although, I personally think that this is one of their best albums, I understand that fans of Oingo Boingo will prefer other options like Only a Lad and Deadman's Party.
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on January 23, 2003
I've found that no two Oingo Boingo records sound the same, and Boingo is a particularly interesting example of this. Here, Danny Elfman has moved away from his New Wave roots into a more Alternative Rock style. The orchestrations are much richer here than on his previous albums, and the lyrics seem to operate on a much more personal level.
Overall, this record serves up a very different listening experience than Only A Lad or Dead Man's Party. From the bombastic (And utterly amazing) "Insanity" to the 16-minute freee for all "Change" (My personal favorite) Boingo will take you on an intense thrill ride.
The songs here are much longer than has previously been Elfman's wont, most likely because he has more to say. Many people dislike long songs, but I much prefer them to shallow 2 1/2 minute pop singles.
If you would like to here something completely different that is sure to astound and amaze you. Check out this record.
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