welcome back to the Skaject folks! this week we’re looking at another debut record, this time from The Beat (AKA The English Beat): it’s I Just Can’t Stop It, from 1980.

the opening track is Mirror In the Bathroom – it’s a little dark and seductive here, and a fun lil track. i dig it a lot. Hand’s Off… She’s Mine brings a distinctly chill vibe to a kinda confrontational subject matter – it’s got an interesting vibe to it. Two Swords is fantastically catchy, with a really fun energy. lyrically though, i dunno if i agree with the “can’t see the left from the right” vibes. i empathize with the vibes that like, even political enemies are people, but i dunno. feeling very mixed on this track. damn good energy musically though. Twist & Claw’s a pretty bitter track, no lie. the American release of this record included a cover of The Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, which was not a cover i was expecting at all. pretty serviceable too, though it doesn’t make a ton of changes. Rough Rider is a Prince Buster cover, and a damn good cover at that, leaning into the tempo and rhythm of the original. Click Click is an interesting little self-destructive track, with a nice up-tempo energy. Ranking Full Stop is another track added for the US release. It’s pretty solid, but definitely slows a bit much after Click Click. Big Shot’s a pretty good track about a glance into the ruling class. i REALLY like that they included a cover of Whine and Grine on the same record as a Rough Rider cover, i still think those songs are funny together. plus, the second half is a call for Margaret Thatcher to resign, and i GOTTA groove with that. Noise In This World is a fun punkier track, i dig it. Can’t Get Used to Loving You is an Andy Williams cover – interesting to have such a romanticly inclined track here with these tracks around it, haha. i didn’t hear it until after i was told but the original track was sampled on Lemonade, which is kinda surreal, haha. Best Friend’s fine. Jackpot closes us out with a full reggae track, and it’s a real good closer for sure.

faves – Mirror In the Bathroom, Rough Rider, Click Click, Whine and Grine / Stand Down Margaret
dislikes –

on the whole this is an extremely fun record. i think the additions for the US version of the record probably do a little more to slow the record down and distract it, but i suspect that’s just personal taste speaking. fun mix of interpersonal issues and political statements, some silly tracks and some more weighty, plus some really solid nods in covers and style to some Jamaican ska sounds. def check this one out if you haven’t – i bet i’ll be singing a few more praises next time i spend time with this one.

I Just Can’t Stop It – 7/10

next up on the project, we’re getting back to the chronological order with Bad Manner’s release from late 1980, Loonee Tunes.

previous: Ska ‘N B | next: Loonee Tunes

full page on the skaject