Friday, January 20, 2017


Madness:  "Absolutely"
Secondhand Vinyl Album
Purchased at Last Stop CD Shop in Sioux Falls, SD
Original Release Date:  1980
My Rating:  4 Stars

Side One
Baggy Trousers
Close Escape
Not Home Today
On The Beat Pete
Solid Gone

Side Two
Take It Or Leave It
Shadow Of Fear
In The Rain
You Said
Return Of The Los Palmas 7.

   It's odd how often I refer to the past when writing about the albums I'm currently listening to.  Especially when one considers I'm just now hearing many of them for the first time. So much for being hip on the music scene.  I'm still catching up with tunes from the 1980's!
   That being said, the album, "Absolutely," by Madness is one that I can't help but feel nostalgic about.  This record reminds me of a time in my life when I realized to my amazement, "Oh my God, people are listening to things other than Grunge?!" This was an actual thought that ran through my head during my first year of college. Suddenly the idea struck me, "There are sounds coming from places other than Seattle?"  I found myself exposed to music that incorporated more complex that contained lyrics that one could interpret...lyrics that were recited in a decipherable manner. The most alluring aspect of these new sounds was the fact that I didn't want to flip my car in the Red River from sheer depression after listening to them. Yes, in college I realized there was another reality out there that was not wrapped in flannel, and I have to say I was rather happy because my current scene was getting awfully stuffy...not to mention sweaty.
   Among all the strange sounds I was introduced to during those days, I remember the genre of Ska being one of the most confusing for me.  I silently wondered, "So it's now cool to play horns and wear ties?  I thought that was just for band geeks." I'm proud to state that with time I developed a more mature comprehension of music and style.  I now understand that, "band geeks," can be seriously boss.   I also believe it was pioneers like the group Madness who made this concept possible.  Songs like, "Baggy Trousers," "Take It Or Leave It," and, "Overdone," make this listener blush for the naivete of a young woman who didn't have a clue when it came to alternative music.  I wish I could go back in time and hand her a copy of, "Absolutely."  I think that girl would have thrown off her uncomfortably warm flannel right then and there.