Madness

It is amazing to me when after a lengthy recording hiatus that artists come back with cover albums. During the six year period between this and their last album, Madness has been active and touring, but apparently they have written no new material. British ska group Madness has been together for 25 years (sort of) and this is their 9th album. They are one of the number of white bands that began a ska revival in the U.K. in the late 70s. As is sometimes the case, they were huge in the U.K. (their first 20 singles made the U.K. Top 20, which makes them more successful than Elvis and The Beatles), but only had one significant hit in North American with the single "Our House" in the 1980s. The eight member group broke up in 1986, but various members kept reuniting for different festival shows (Glastonbury, etc.) and released a successful album called "Wonderful" in 1999. The band has lost some of its zany frenetic energy, but they still are quite quirky. Highlights on the album include "You Keep Me Hanging On" (The Supremes cover) and "Lola" (Kinks cover). Even though the album is a pretty mellow one it is definitely a stronger reggae sound for the band, but fans of Madness should enjoy the music and the album.

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