MADNESS – Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da


I wouldn’t call it ambitious or remotely close to the edge, but it is fun, a lot of fun! No showing off, just the band in full party mode, like a ska version of Trooper or Harlequin. A bright staccato bounce (the operative word for the entire album) drives the leadoff song and then a softer rhythm holds the disc together. It does sound a bit nostalgic, though not dated. The distinct pop-ska sound from the band that brought you “Our House” is still in effect. Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da is the band’s tenth album, and its seventh to reach the top ten chart in Britain. There’s no real killer, but there’s also no filler, just a complete disc of very good songs. One standout is “Misery,” a pure pub song with a simple rollicking melody you can rock shoulder to shoulder with your mates and a pint while you sing with the band. It’s essentially a list of mismatched clichés of things to help you lighten up. Jolly good fun! Plus, who doesn’t like boogie-woogie piano and a sexy sax solo? The album’s first single, “Death Of A Rude Boy,” takes you right back to the early days of ska in the 80s and the melodica gives it a tasty Indian feel, like a curry after the footy match. I would recommend it to any Planet Smashers fan. While it won’t make new fans out of the uninitiated, the disc will definitely please existing Madness fans. (Cooking Vinyl/Eone Music, Brooce Tulloch

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