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Post Info TOPIC: Detailed 7th Album Review


Never In A Million Years

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Detailed 7th Album Review
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Hello,

 

I've been really excited to hear the release. I listened to it privately first before reading the consensus on the forum. As delighted as i have been to have a brand new Boomtown Rats record to hear when I first listened I had to fight my own prejudice.

1. I had spent years listening to the first 6 albums. I'd become accustomed to the faults and all. Hearing new material did feel strange at first. It took me a couple of listens to wipe that away and just hear it as music. 

Overall, I'm delighted. I'm a big fan or the new release and as I become more used to it the tracks will grow on me even more. 

Trash Glam Baby - 'Another **** Saturday night' is an amazing opening line. 

Sweet Thing - It does feel the most derivative track. Part Nirvana 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. I do like the guitar sounds. The chorus softens it which is a shame.

Monster Monkeys - I do love the guitar riff. The pauses are sublime and the lyrics really work. Highlight. I don't like the electronic drums part way through again personal thing.

She Said No - It is in my opinion the best produced track of the new record. I do love the vibe. The lyrics are a bit specious at times. The musical stops are really effective.

Passing Through - I love the song once the vocals begin. The intro and chrorus are a bit overblown. A really standout track in the verses. I love the piano outro.

Here's A Postcard - this has really jumped out as me as a great pop rock track. It's a beautiful scene. Every time I've enjoyed it. Yeh it's pop but that's not a bad thing. I love the lyrics and the guitar solo.

K.I.S.S - I LOVE the beginning and verse. It's the chorus I don't like but 80% I love. I also enjoy the rap. The backing vocals are really fun. Again the electronic drums bug me. Highlight.

Rock n Roll Ye Ye - It's a bit meandering. 

Get A Grip - the electronic bit bugs me because I like the energy. It's just swamping the guitars. I enjoy the lyrics. 

The Boomtown Rats - I know it's controversial on this forum. I don't know if it should have been placed as the last track but I find it fun. I'm glad it's on there. 

 

I did have a couple of problems with it...

1) The record does miss Johnnie Fingers and Gerry Cott. There is a big difference between being superb live players like Alan and Darren are and being full creative band members in the studio. Nobody could ever replicate the dynamic of the original 6 members. It is just more difficult to insert ideas into a very established and popular setup. As an original member, you just have more carte blanche to add ideas in. Fingers' playing on Mondays, Elephant's Graveyard, the breakdown section of Joey, Someone's Looking At You are very intricate parts that add such a lot to the earlier records. You are missing his input. Alan can play the notes but isn't afforded the same level of input understandably. 

Gerry Cott was a truly remarkable lead guitarist. His slide playing, his almost Spanish type pull offs during electric lead. His acoustic lead work on 'When The Night Comes' adds a different dimension. Darren is a charismatic and great live guitarist. There aren't any standout guitar moments on the record. I recognise in 2020 this probably doesn't matter to many people but speaking as a guitar player. I missed that (as I did on V Deep and In The Long Grass without Gerry). 

2) Again, this is personal preference but I enjoy the power of a live band with everything being played on a real instrument. There are several tracks K.I.S.S when the drums are clearly samples. Simon is a great drummer and it seems to be doing him a disservice not to feature his live drum playing. Again, it is 2020 and although I'm pretty young my preference is just for a rawer band sound. Album 7 does feel a bit piecemeal with overdubs and it gives it a 'flat' element to the sound. 

3) I love the Rats for the long form showpiece numbers that set them utterly apart from other bands. Rat Trap, Joey, Someone's Looking At You, When The Night Comes. I was hoping for a new one of them. 

CONCLUSION- with apologies if this is all too long. 

I love the record. Bob has written a handful of truly excellent numbers. There are a couple of weaker tracks but I find it to be a great improvement on Mondo Bongo and V Deep. At it's best moments it's a great achievement and the band should be happy. I needed to open my ears to a new record. After hearing it a couple of times I could do that. I did prefer 'How To Compose Popular Songs' I think on balance. There is such cohesion and the lyrics are among Geldof's best on that record but I love having the Rats back.

9/10 for Citizens. Keep giving us more. I hope they don't cancel the tour! 

Best Tracks: Here's A Postcard, K.I.S.S, Trash Glam Baby, Monster Monkeys. (I can't stop whistling Here's A Postcard. I get people will say it's pop) 

 



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Back To Boomtown

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My opinion (after two listens), for what its worth (not much) 

Trash Glam Baby - Horrible, and gets more horrible with every listen, so I started with track 2.

Sweet Thing - Has shades of Libertines and Wild Thing by the Troggs, but I like it

Monster Monkeys - Sounds like Happy Mondays without the Oakenfield magic, but I like it

She Said No - Has a Dr.Feelgood/early Rats vibe, and I like it

Passing Through - Harks back to the less rocky Lou Reed and Bowie and I like it

Here's A Postcard - Harks further back to the Velvets, and again I like it

K.I.S.S -  This reminded me of The Clash of all people, and I was enjoying it until the rap kicked in.  So at first I liked it and I didn't like it!

Rock n Roll Ye Ye - I was hoping for some ye ye, so a bit surprised by this. Like Joan Jett crossed with Dylan.   Oddly the most ear wormy song, It's OK.

Get A Grip - This was something I couldn't pin down any real influence other than the overall housey housey sound, but I like it

The Boomtown Rats - Worse than horrible, and why it had to waste the last five minutes when it has already been on umpteen compilations and the rat**** ep just bemuses me

So overall, 6 likeable tracks, 2 indifferent and 2 stinkers.

According to Visconti neither Fingers nor Cott were any great shakes, and even Cott himself has admitted he is not a typical lead guitarist.  If anyone important was missing it was Mutt Lange who might have added a bit of magic to the songs.  And Mutt Lange (excuse the upcoming pun) was instrumental in getting the best out of the Rats in terms of performances. Pete Briquette has done a decent job on the production, but I think someone less connected would have probably have improved it

I also enjoy the power of a live band with everything being played on a real instrument, and no doubt had they not used the electronic gadgetry , this would have been a better album.  The eponymous song is a waste of 5 valuable minutes with all it's electronic nonsense.

A showpiece number like Rat Trap or Joey would have been great, especially with some sax and especially if it kicked the eponymous song off.

I like the record. In my opinion it is not better than either Mondo Bongo or V Deep. Nothing as good as He Watches It All, Fall Down, Go Man Go, Guilty, Up All Night, Banana Republic, House on Fires, etc. However it is better than any solo Geldof effort and better then Gung~Ho. Good enough to listen to again (except first and last tracks which have been deleted).

 

 



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I Don't Like Mondays

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Personally, with every listen, this album just gets better and better. Call me biased, but I don't have many complaints.

 

Trash Glam Baby - When the single first came out, I had my doubts. But it's grown on me, honestly!! It's very catchy and it gets better when you begin hearing the background instrumentals (there's an ongoing synth in the background that I love!). Though, I can see why it may not appeal to some rats fans (given it's got a very different sound)

Sweet Thing - The riff to this is absolutely amazing, and the way it starts off the song seems to hook you in for more. The lyrics were a bit strange ('You make my gums bleed' and 'theres a rumor you're a tumor on my love-stick' ?) but aside from that, great song.

Monster Monkeys - This is something I did not expect in the slightest. The gritty guitar makes your ears feel almost surrounded if you've got headphones on. If someone had showed this to me without telling me the artist, the last thing I'd guess is The Boomtown Rats! I have absolutely no complaints with this track. The instrumentals are spot on, the vocals fit with it nicely..

She Said No - This track took me a couple of listens to really get comfortable with. It reminds me of something they'd do back in the 'old days'(?)(same goes for Sweet Thing.). It's not one of my favorites, but it is a great track!

Passing Through - I couldn't make out the lyrics at first, but after another listen it was easy to make it out. This song gives off solemn vibes, and this is very much so represented in the lyrics. Listening to it makes my heart ache. Otherwise, the piano is very well done, and though the beginning is very..vibrant, it fits well with the song, matching up with the chorus.

Here's A Postcard - Another one I wasn't sure on at first, but has now grown on me. The instrumentals are absolutely wonderful, they're very uplifting and pop-y. The guitar solo gives off what seems like a Queen sound. And...might be just me, but the vocals could have used just a bit more energy.

K.I.S.S. - Loved this one from the beginning. It's like nothing I've ever heard, especially from the rats. I did not expect the rap in any way, shape, or form, but it fits very well with the song! It's very upbeat, and very dance-able. Definitely an earworm.

Rock 'n' Roll Ye Ye - Probably the most prominent earworm, with that chorus. I can't say too much about this song, as my opinions are still mixed, but I do enjoy listening to it.

Get a Grip - Very, very synthy!! The howling reminds me heavily of No Hiding Place. I love this track, though I wish the vocals were a little more audible. Did not expect Geldof to say 'meme', though. 

The Boomtown Rats - I really enjoy how this track is reworked here. The guitar is more prominent, and the vocals sound much better. I prefer it over the 2013 version...

Overall: 9/10! Very, very good. I can tell they had a lot of fun with this album, b/c the instrumentals are what really stand out to me. Kudos to Garry and Darren for the guitar!

Best Tracks: My personal favorites are K.I.S.S., Monster Monkeys, Trash Glam Baby, and Sweet Thing.



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V Deep

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Sorry but I do not miss JF or GC and niether does the new album.

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V Deep

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I totally agree with you Derek Alan an Darren are doing a great job as rats and let's face it we have4of the original line up not many bands do once they reform so this is a bonus incidentally love the new album not one bad track on it as far as I'm concerned

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Mike menzies wrote:

not one bad track on it as far as I'm concerned


 I agree. Not one bad track. At least two



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Dave

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Derek The Dane wrote:

Sorry but I do not miss JF or GC and niether does the new album.


 I thought there would be much more Alan Dunn piano/keyboards on new album. Haven't really listened as much as the first six albums, but Fingers piano was a much more prominent feature. Alan is a perfectly good musician, nothing to do with Fingers being a better player or anything. Just surprised that a key signature of the Rats sound seems missing from Citizens of Boomtown. 

I find a lot of the guitar playing just sounds 'scratchy', more like Queen (not a good thing in my book)

Nothing like Gerry's guitar sound on Keep It Up. The best guitar part is actually Paul C (sorry will have to check name) who guests on Here's a Postcard. So many of the great guitar parts were done by Gerry, if anyone bothers to watch the live videos esp Germany, Japan, Rock Goes To College,Hammersmith. 



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V Deep

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I still love this album and the naysayers can belittle this album so they like it won't change my opinion of this brilliant masterpiece

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V Deep

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I think it is the best album I've heard in years so that is my opinion and I ain't changing for anybody

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Never In A Million Years

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Hi,

 

I agree with Noel with regards to Fingers. His contribution on keys are an integral part to the Rats sound. It isn't about who was a better musician but that the instrument was much more dominant. I missed it from the new record. 

 

I must say though the live footage of 'Get a Grip' and 'She Said No' somebody has filmed and uploaded to youtube looks absolutely superb. It has the attack of the Rats first record and I prefer it to the album. I'm really enjoying Citizens the more I hear it. I just needed to beat the prejudice of not being as familiar with it as the first 6 albums. 



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