welcome back to the Skaject folks! this week we’re taking a look at Madness’s 1984 record, Keep Moving!

the title track, Keep Moving, begins the record, and i really enjoy this mellower groovier sound theyre displaying. this feel like a big banner that says “hey expect less ska” but ngl i do enjoy this song. Wings of a Dove (A Celebratory Song) is very interesting. the strong feature of those marimbas that evoke “island sounds” is a strange but kinda effective choice, and this song feels like its trying out a lot. successful in some places (i do like the back half of the track for example) but leaves me in kinda a mixed place. gotta love that piano in The Sun and the Rain. got a great quality to it in the mix. i think this track really warmed on me. gonna toss this one a fave. Brand New Beat’s fine. interesting framing for a darker track. March of the Gherkin dwells on growing older – its also a p nice track. Michael Caine was apparently about an informant during the Troubles, which, wild. its fine. Prospects brings the strong ska beat on a mellower track, feeling a lot more reggae here. probably one of the more lyrically interesting tracks so far. Victoria Gardens is one of my faves here – a track reflecting on the current state of their neighborhoods, with some real neat vocal flourishes. weird kinda song, in a good way. Samantha feels like its cribbing from the Smiths, haha. p solid track. One Better Day takes a strange, almost lounge-ier path. got some great bass work on this track, haha. Give Me a Reason has a FUN energy to it. fun sax work, excellent vibes here. Turning Blue is another in a line of kinda strange tracks – but yknow i dig these kinda weirder sounds. big fan of this track too. i dont have too much to say about Time for Tea. look okay its gonna look bad that i put Waltz Into Mischief on the dislike list, given how few tracks end up there. its not that bad! i just dont like it. i’d definitely skip it on future listens. i appreciate them trying it out, and going for a fun ending on what’s mostly been a moody record, but this one aint for me.

faves – Keep Moving, The Sun and the Rain, Victoria Gardens, Give Me a Reason, Turning Blue
dislikes – Waltz Into Mischief

this record feels nostalgic and bittersweet – a kind of cloying hopefulness in spite of some darker stuff hovering on the edges. i’m not particularly drawn to any of the lyrical stuff here, but it does have a fairly consistent sound to it, even if it’s drifting in a poppier direction overall, and only showing some of the ska influence of their previous records. on the whole, its p good – more Madness, but def not one of my faves of theirs.

Keep Moving – 5/10

next up, we’re gonna take a look at the last Specials record before their first breakup, In the Studio, released under the name The Special AKA

previous: Return of the Big Guns | next: In the Studio

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