The first thing I noticed about this album is that Adam Ant and I are wearing the same nail polish, so I’d say we’re off to a great start. The cover must be commented on immediately because it feels too good to be true. Please note the tiny heart on his forehead - pure genius.
When I turned it over I said “is this real? these guys look like they should be on boat with Tobias Funke.” The guy second to the left is definitely my favorite. I think it’s his slightly slouched posture and curvy hips.
The first two songs have almost a Caribbean vacation feel.This is the kind of music that would be played on a cheeky weird cruise for men and women of all sexualities who are into fashion and love drinking pina coladas to relax. A type of cruise that this song makes you believe could somehow actually exist, and that you would want to be a part of.
For some reason, the second song, while all in English, is titled “Picasso VIsita El Planeta De Los Simios,” which means “Picasso Visits the Planet of the Apes.” And why not? I like it’s whimsy, let’s embrace it. The sense I’m getting is that these guys aren’t trying to be funny necessarily, but they also don’t want you to take them too seriously.
So far all of these songs are very upbeat and "Prince Charming" slightly reminds me of Sparks, even though the song starts with weird guttural screaming. I can’t stop looking at the picture on the sleeve! The same guy is still my favorite in this pic too, with his hand on his hip.
Hold on, I have to stop looking at the picture because the song "5 Guns West" just started and it’s like a weird western song with fake country accents. The lyrics are refreshingly positive though! “Ladies can be captains and ladies can be chiefs.” And while the song is catchy, the fake western style is a little distracting, I could totally picture a little girl’s tap class using this as their recital music in the 80s and their costumes include cowboy hats and fringed vests and lassos. Also, going from the song that reminded me of the Caribbean to the Old West song, has suddenly made me think of the different themes in the Magic Kingdom at Disney world! First Pirates of the Caribbean, then Runaway Train, is The Haunted Mansion going to be next? Oh please, oh please, oh please.
The next song, “That Voodoo,” almost sounds like we’re keeping with the cowboy theme at the beginning but then it goes away. I like Adam Ant’s voice and the way he’s playful and dramatic with it. I can see how it would be seen as cheesy by some, but I like it, and it doesn’t make me feel grumpy like some other cheesy singers do - wait hold on - we’re back to the country theme but now it sounds country/Mexican bullfighting music or something.
Okay, side two starts with a very enthusiastic proclamation to “Stand and Deliver!” which I’m into. I could see getting down to this song on the dance floor for sure.This song is about “dandy highwayman” so is that who they’re dressed as in the pictures? That makes a little more sense to me if that is the case. I really like the part when they go “even though you fool your soul your conscious will be mine.” It’s kind of like a sub chorus. I also like the harmonizing of the words “stand and deliver” towards the end over and over again, but there are a bunch of weird noises in the background during this part that sound like barking and whistling and yelling, that I don’t mind necessarily, but they’re a little distracting. I think I like this album, but by the time we get to “Mile High Club” which is like weird repeating lyrics and harmonizing without having a real melody, I might be sick of it - it might be the Epcot Center of the album (are you guys still with me with this Disney World parallel?)
HOLD ON. “Ant Rap” just came on, and I don’t know what to think! While this song is a slight assault on your senses, I think I actually like it after taking it in for a minute or so. It sounds like a marching band percussion line in the background with “rapping” over it. I like how they say everyone’s name, I wonder what the name of my favorite guy is, I’m going to ask Alex. “Ant Rap” reminded me of "Wordy Rappinghood" by Tom Tom Club which is a song that I like, even though sometimes I’m not in the mood for it. Alex thinks that my favorite guy is Marco Pirroni who co wrote all of the songs on this album with Adam Ant.
Sidenote: Both the “Stand and Deliver” and “Ant Rap” videos are magical. PLEASE WATCH.
Oh! There is a song after the last song that’s not on the track list! A secret bonus! It’s like, Hawaiian music with the sounds of waves crashing in the background confirming my original feel of this album in the first few notes. Why am I not drinking a pina colada right now?
Alex Says: I have always kind of overlooked this album as being a minor entry in the Adam & the Ants ouvre, but listening to it with Sarah has been a real reassessment. It’s a bit of a mess sometimes, especially when songs of strikingly different keys fade in and out over one another, but, and I apologize for saying so, it really is kind of charming.
I guess my hope for doing these reviews was that it would be a way for me to learn to love some neglected records more, which I did here. My fear, of course is that in some cases I will find myself liking albums less after Sarah gets through with them.