welcome back to the Skaject folks! this week we’re checking out Madness’s fourth studio record, Mad Not Mad, released in 1985.

I’ll Compete did not let me forget this was an 80s record, at all. this feels very 80s pop to me. it’s fine. the transitional hook – i legit can’t tell what instrument they’re playing it on, but it’s in the opening and right after the first verse – is really good. where’s the rest of that song. I’m honestly not sold on Yesterday’s Men, but the chorus, “it must get better in the long run” is a fucking EARWORM. i can absolutely tell how this is the most listened to song off this record on spotify. Uncle Sam’s aight. there’s some funny lines here and there for sure. White Heat doesn’t do much for me at all. the title track here, Mad Not Mad, is a bit disappointing. not a fan. Burning the Boats was the one track off here that really stood out to me. the chorus here goes way harder than i expect it to, and there’s some surprisingly phenomenal harmonica on display here, haha. Tears You Can’t Hide is pretty good. okay i really liked where Time was going in it’s opening, but man the track went in a bunch of different places that i wasn’t expecting and didn’t really like, haha. Coldest Day is fine as a closer.

faves – Burning the Boats
dislikes –

i dunno if it’s because of the continued shift in tone from Keep Moving, or if it’s because i’m listening to this right on the heels of two very good EPs from their contemporaries in America that are breaking onto the scene, but man this just felt extremely underwhelming. i just had a real hard time getting into it. i think if you were liking the pop-ish, new-wave ish way things were shifting for these folks, this might be worth it to check out, but it’s not my cup of tea.

Mad Not Mad – 3/10

next up, we’re seeing how Bad Manners is doing with our last record of 1985, Mental Notes.

previous: Recriminations | next: Mental Notes

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