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Boo!

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

They're back...Was (Not Was) the darlings of the avant disco set and avatars of the absurd have emerged from the abyss of the recording industry with a new long-player, Boo! It's been almost 20 years since their last salvos of surrealistic soul and Jurassic dance mixes delighted and terrified nightclub crawlers and pop maniacs with the hits Walk the Dinosaur and Spy in the House of Love. Once again these shamelessly funky court jesters (featuring the original line up, plus some very special guests) are mixing it up and working without a net, performing a high-wire act that stretches from the ridiculous to the sublime. Are you scared yet?

Review

Throughout the `80s, the motley Detroit musical ensemble led by brothers Don and Dave Was, Was (Not Was), made their mark amongst the dance music cognoscenti with a potent combination of absurdist lyrics and off-kilter funk. After years of enjoying solo success as producers and film scorers, the Was brothers return for their fifth studio album, BOO! Losing none of the quirky energy and incisive political commentary of their best Reagan-era efforts, the album is an eclectic blend of sweet soul, avant funk, and a few surprises--like Kris Kristofferson's guest appearance on the hallucinogenic country and western number "Green Pills in the Dresser." --Muze --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B0013FCYGE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,109 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy Gary on April 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I've waited for this album since their last release 15+ years ago, and have not been disappointed. If you loved them before, you'll love them now.

If you don't know anything about them, listen to the samples and the video. You can't really classify a whole album because is moves from pop funk to crazy spoken pieces on a whim.

Sweet Pea Atkinson is one of my all time favorite vocalists, and he's in fine form here. From the Catchy opener Semi-Interesting Week to the bluesy Crazy Water. His vocals shine and somehow he's able to put just the right emotional touches together with the crazy lyrics.

Be sure to check out Was guitarist Randy Jacobs' Bone Shakers albums for more *great* tunes featuring Sweet Pea on vocals (Shake the Planet, and Book of Spells). They really showcase Randy's guitar playing as well.

Ok.. So I'm short on details. I just know that I've been playing this album non-stop for the past 4 hours, so am obviously both crazy and happy ;-b
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With so much time gone by Was (Not Was) was a band I didn't think I'd ever hear from again. I own all four of their cds from 1981's "Out Come The Freaks", 1983's "Born To Laugh At Tornadoes" to 1988's "What Up, Dog?" and 1990's "Are You Okay?"

18 years later "Boo!" Well, how is it? It's actually quite good. I was worried they would be yesterday's news, but "Boo!" is enjoyable and filled with that old Was (Not Was) quirky wit. "Semi-Interesting Week", "It's A Miracle", "From The Head To The Heart", "Big Black Hole" and Kris Kristofferson on "Green Pills In The Dresser" are all standout tracks.

I docked one star because "Your Luck Won't Last", "Needletooth", "Forget Everything", "Crazy Water" and "Mr. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" are all good, but not great. I would not say that "Boo!" is their best work. I reserve that for "What Up, Dog?" and "Born To Laugh At Tornadoes". "Boo!" is better than "Are You Okay?" and "Was (Not Was)".

That being said, it's great to have Was (Not Was) back, and I hope they continue making albums and not let another 18 years pass. Sweet Pea and Sir Harry are in great vocal form here, and the entire disc works as a whole, making "Boo!" a clever and rewarding album for 2008.
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It's been over a decade since Was (Not Was) was released any new music and 'Boo!' is certainly worth the wait in every possible respect. The original lineup is intact,and the magic and plain weirdness is still there as if not one moment has passed. If anything this album has more focus and even for that it comes down to NO HOLES BARRED FUNK!! "Semi Interesting Week" is nothing short of Don Was's P-Funk jam for the millenium and they keep getting on the good foot right along through "Big Black Hole","Forget Everything","Your Luck Won't Last"-pretty much everything here in fact. As usual they can throw together elements that just don't normally come together and make it all work:"It's A Miracle" will have you convinced your listening to a 60's Stax soul ballad until you catch onto the dysfunctional situation in the lyrics. "Crazy Water" is a song that actually features a B&W retro soul review styled music video and it's perfectly in keeping with the music and (in this case) the lyrics too. And "Green Pills In The Dresser" continues their classic tradition of surprising guest artists as Kris Kristofferson "raps" his way around a (deliberately) trippy groove. Hearing this album will of course make you wish Was (Not Was) had not been absent for so long,and make your yearn for more of their great ability to make the odd shake,wiggle and wobble with the best of George Clinton,Prince and other eccentric funkateers. And we can only hope we will not have to wait 13 years for Was (Not Was) to strike again right?Well I sure hope not!
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Format: Audio CD
In a just world, songs like "It's a Miracle," "Forget Everything" and "Semi-Interesting Week" would top the pop charts for months on end. However, the fellas of Was (Not Was) seem a lot more comfortable making their music in our dysfunctional world. Like Steely Dan, David Was and Don Was seem fascinated with the lives of people who gravitate toward the fringes of society and dance a little too close to the proverbial fire. However, Was (Not Was) explores these characters with tight funk and soulful R&B that Steely Dan (for all its greatness) could never pull off.

The music in "Boo!" is glorious. "Semi-Interesting Week" and "Forget Everything" rock with attitude and funk that rivals the best of Bootsy Collins. "It's a Miracle" tells the story of various miscreants getting their cosmic comeuppance through the grace of Sweet Pea Atkinson's vocals and a calm Motown vibe. Likewise, Atkinson channels Wilson Pickett with "Crazy Water," a bluesy cautionary tale. They also throw a couple of curveballs with "Needletooth" and "Green Pills in the Dresser" (the latter featuring Kris Kristofferson(!) on lead vocals), in case anyone gets too comfortable.

In sum, it's hard not to marvel at the sheer audacity of Was (Not Was). If these were straight love songs, they might stand a chance of getting heard on the radio. After all, the melodies are memorable and the musicianship is impeccable. But David and Don Was are a little too warped to play it straight with their subject matter.

The result? Music that makes you dance, laugh, and think.
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