Here We Go Love by The English Beat (Here We Go Records)
It’s been over 30 years since the last iconic recordings of the legendary English Beat. Their previous albums I Just Can’t Stop It, Whap’pen, and Special Beat Service spawned such massive hits as I Confess, Save It For Later and Mirror In The Bathroom. Since then, Wakeling has pursued General Public as well as a solo career. Here We Go Love has been a long time in the making, and judging by the 13 tracks heard within, the album is certainly well worth the wait! The main subjects are love and politics all within a world gone wild, with Dave Wakeling rendering sharp yet witty observations throughout the entire recording. Wakeling is an artist now at the very height if his creative energies, ready to unleash the rapturous ska entreaties complete with a grand amount of wisdom, conviction, and humor.
Here We Go Love kicks off with the crucial yet sparkling refrains of How Could You Stand There, exhibiting at once the incisive cultural observations of Dave “Ska-tradamus” Wakeling and company. The One And Only examines the diabolical Donald Trump in all of us, a scathing testament of this modern day set to an infectious jubilant melody. Redemption Time shows a culture of blame going off the deep end, where “Everything is nothing and you can’t say no.” If Killing Worked is The English Beat at their most potent, with a brilliantly reflective chorus that will spin ruthlessly in your head for ages. The stunning title track Here We Go Love has Wakeling musing “God only knows why I give a f*ck” as The English Beat proceed to savagely rock your world in nothing short of an epic way.
Never Die is a wondrously moving ballad, displaying a remarkable poignant side to the modern day English Beat experience. The Love You Give is The English Beat at their most cautiously romantic, perhaps their new millennium answer to the General Public classic Tenderness. “And as the darkness disappears, can you still not see it?” Wakeling inquires at the commencement of You Really Oughtta Know, where a warm and bouncy musical soundscape is laced with a commanding sense of irony and cynicism. The punky refrains of You’re Stuck slam into the listener with fiendish glee followed by the dazzling, Motown-style inflections of Every Time You Told Me. Dem Call It Ska is just good fun in the summertime, with sizzling horns, playful guitars, and Wakeling’s stylish vocals ruling the day. And then Here We Go Love ends with the dazzling one-two punch of Drive Her Away and Be There For You, a blissfully captivating grand finale.
There is no doubt that Here We Go Love is The English Beat’s most fully realized effort to date. With so many songs that stand well with the fan favorites of the past, Here We Go Love is destined to be on repeat listening and could show up on more than a few Top Ten Lists when this year spins to its dizzying conclusion. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another 30 years to encounter the next English Beat manifesto. In this day and age, we need inspiring troubadours like Dave Wakeling and The English Beat more than ever – bringing on the vibrant ska party while giving us those inspiring razor-sharp lyrics to reflect upon.
(Review by Ken Morton)
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