The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Pay Attention (Cover Artwork)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Pay Attention (2000)


Once upon a time, I used to sit for hours playing Starcraft. I remember always being Protoss, as they had high-tech weapons, cool yellow armour and generally seemed more organised than the crazy Zerg and quite frankly pathetic Terran. While playing, I often had Windows Media Player running in the background, playing a shuffle on all the music currently on my computer. Within the dozens of albums was Pay Attention, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones 6th full-length album, and also their final fanfare in the world of pop music.

It had been three years since "The Impression That I Get" had been unleashed upon the world, and ska was beginning to die, at least in the mainstream's eyes. The poppyness of their previous effort, Let's Face It, had now been lessened considerably, increasing the harder aspect of the band we last saw on 1994's Question The Answers. This is evident enough in the storming opener "Let Me Be," which after some light dinner party music roars into life, bringing the immortal line "Let me rant and let me ramble, you're looking at a lunatic in shambles." Other songs, most noticeably "The Skeleton Song" and "She Just Happened," bring an all around jollier edge to the album, and remain songs that always bring a smile to my face when they grace my shuffle function. The Irish-themed "Riot On Broad Street" and the potent "The Day He Didn't Die" both contribute two more different styles to the sound, while "Temporary Trip" sounds like a throwback to the Question The Answers days.

Sadly, this album isn't all doves and civilians. Some tracks *cough*"One Million Reasons"*cough* never seem to get off the ground, despite having over three minutes to get there. "High School Dance" just seems like a slightly poorer version of "Another Drinkin' Song," and how they managed to drag on "Finally" for nearly four minutes, I'll never know. Annoyingly enough, this is the soundtrack I had when watching the last movie from the Protoss campaign, slightly ruining my astonishing victory. It's a shame that these songs aren't even bad ones, but mixed in with the others they end up sounding more like filler than anything else.

I love this band and everything they've put out, but for some reason this has always seemed their weakest effort. You could say this is the Bosstones' Terran, or you could say that while being a great album, this simply makes too many small mistakes to be held as high as their Protosses (Jacknife To A Swan) or even their Zergs (Let's Face It).