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Jackknife to a Swan

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000068TZX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,223 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Jackknife To A Swan
2. Mr. Moran
3. You Gotta Go!
4. Everybody's Better
5. Sugar Free
6. I Want My City Back
7. Chasing The Sun Away
8. You Can't Win
9. The Old School Off The Bright
10. The Punch Line
11. Go Big
12. S#%t Outta Luck
13. 7 Ways To Sunday

Product Description


After six studio albums under their skinny leather belts, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have found themselves back at an indie label. The perplexing part of this equation is these once and future rude boys from Boston have never sounded better or more ready for prime time; their metal-ska punk has been honed to a fine, serrated edge, with much of the furious posturing of years past gone. Always a tight and flashy band, this time out the Bosstones have spent considerable time crafting a set of dynamic lyrics that are cinematic in scope, with a barely hidden moral center that shines brightly. Most of the tunes are small narrative slices of life that might have been "ripped from the headlines," like the gritty, ska-infused "Mr. Moran," based on the life of Mafia turncoat Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Bravano, who testified against mob boss John Gotti. The dark subject matter is skillfully integrated in the almost childlike sing-song delivery, with the occasional explosive expletive as reality check and a nod to subtle irony. Others tunes are cautionary tales, like the hard-charging "You Can't Win," which warns that there are different rules for normal folks and rich types: "They're wide awake while you're still in bed / They count the money while you count the sheep." They return again to this theme of the eternal war of "us versus them" on the acerbic "Punch Line," finally settling all questions of personal inequity on the poetic and uplifting "Everybody's Better." This standout song could have ambled off a Jamaican beach, with its casual rhythms and breezy horn section, but once again behind the deceptively simple melody lies profundity: "To be king, you don't need a castle… A true king rules without a crown." On this album, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones truly earn their second modifier and show themselves more than able rule all that they survey. --Jaan Uhelszki

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Good to see one of the best bands of the 90s bounce back forcefully from their last effort, the forgettable "Pay Attention". By song:
1. A Jackknife to a Swan- Strong hard-rocking opener. Sets the tone for the rest of the album. ***** stars
2. Mr. Moran- Didn't like this song too much until I saw it done live. Now it's one of my favorites. ****1/2 stars
3. You Gotta Go!- Also featured on Warped Tour 02. Soon to be a classic. ***** stars
4. Everybody's Better- Reggae number a welcome change of pace from the harder opening 3. Kinda reminiscent of "Simmer Down." ***** stars
5. Sugar Free- Great high-energy track. Also on the "Atticus" disc. They opened with this when I saw them live a couple weeks ago. ***** stars
6. I Want My City Back- My favorite on this album. A lot of people unfamiliar with Boston wouldn't get it I guess. I like the Citgo sign reference. ***** stars
7. Chasing the Sun Away- Another great reggae track. VERY catchy. You'll be singing this for days. ***** stars
8. You Can't Win- Forgettable but not bad. ***1/2-**** stars
9. The Old School Off the Bright- GREAT drinking/party song. Second favorite on the disc. ***** stars
10. The Punch Line- Average. Not very memorable. **** stars
11. Go Big- Better. The chorus gets annoying after repeated listenings. ***1/2 stars
12. Sh.. Outta Luck- Last good track. Not as profane as the title would suggest. ****1/2 stars
13. 7 Ways to Sunday- An acoustic track that doesn't really fit with the rest of the album. Would've liked to see em finish strong (like with 1-2-8 on Let's Face It)*** stars
I definitely recommend this album if only for the first nine tracks. Buy it, and GO SEE EM LIVE!! Peace out.
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Format: Audio CD
As the first album released since their divorce from major label, Mercury Records, "Jackknife to a Swan" is proof that a band's label has an effect on the quality of music released. Unlike "Let's Face it" and "Pay Attention," this album is not over-produced or "glossy" from studion effects. The true style and overall vibe of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones shines through, and this could possibly be one of the greatest albums they've ever produced. And those are stong words, coming from a hardcore fan.
The Bosstones really go back their ska-core roots on Jacknife. Credited with coining the term for the hybrid of ska and hardcore punk back in 1983, the boys unarguably lost their edge on their previous mainstream releases. While those were more pop-oriented and tinged with radio-friendly melodies, Jackknife revisits albums of the past, such as "Don't Know How to Party" and "Question the Answers."
"You Gotta Go" hits you at the very beginning with solid, powerful horn lines and the energy of the guitar just carries you all the way to the end. "Mr. Moran," written about Sammy the Bull (who was arrested with John Gotti), takes you from the beginning with its sheer force. "Everybody's Better" takes it down a notch for a reggae-style song, but still retains the natural energy of the Bosstones (could it be the interludes of screaming?). In any case, the energy of this album remains a constant, which is hardly what anyone could say about the majority of popular music out today.
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Format: Audio CD
The members:
Dicky Barrett- VOCALS
Kevin Lenear- SAXAPHONE
Joe Sirois- DRUMS
Dennis Brockenborough- TROMBONE
Nate Albert- GUITAR
Joe Gittleman- BASS
A little history about them, the band formed in 1985 in Florida. They called themselves the Mighty Mighty Bosstones because there was already a band from the 50's called the Bosstones, so they just put 'the mighty mighty' in front of it they first appeared on a album called 'Smashing up the nation'. They split up for about a year so some of the band members could finish high school, Nate Albert and Joe Gittleman. They recorded there first album called 'Devil's night out' on Taang records, a Boston label. Then they released a single for "Where'd You Go?" and the "Wher'd You Go?" EP. In 1992, "More Noise and other disturbances was released. On this album, they used two new horn players. In 1993 they signed with Mercury Records. That year they released "Ska-Core, the Devil and More." They also released "Don't know how to party" which has been their greatest success. In 1994, they released "Question the Answers". In the summer of 1995, they were one of the headlining acts at Lollapalooza. They also hosted MTV's 120 Minutes and performed live. In 1997, they released "Let's Face It" and their first single was "The Impression that I Get".
Personally I only have there first album 'Devils Night Out', and this one, 'A Jackknife to a Swan', and I love them both. I would say they are a Ska band hence the saxophones and trombones, but some of the songs are heavy in the guitar sense and Dickys voice is somewhat sounding like Metalica, This works in my opinion as it's a different sound of Ska.
But I will be trying to get more of there stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
A Jackknife to a Swan marks the Bosstones' return to the ska-core sound that they made their own in the early 90's. This album follows the experimental, Pay Attention which was released in 2000. Like their 3rd wave couterparts Reel Big Fish, A Jackknife to a Swan also marks a lineup change in the Bosstones, trombone player Dennis Brockenborough is replaced by Chris Rhodes formerly of Spring Heeled Jack and even though Lawrence Katz replaced Nate Albert in 2000, Jackknife is the first album with the Bosstones that he played on and helped write. Both players also make their presence known, Chris with his vocals and Lawrence with his searing guitar parts. The new members also enhance the band which features singer Dicky Barrett, bassist Joe Gittleman, drummer Joe Sirois, and sax players Tim 'Johnny Vegas' Burton and Roman Fleysher.
A Jackknife to a Swan: 10/10, one of the best songs on the album, a perfect way to start, it has a really catchy chorus
Mr. Moran: 10/10, written about Sammy the Bull Gravano, the infamous mafia boss, another excellent song, has some really good lyrics, and Lawrence's guitar playing is realy strong on it
You Gotta Go: 9/10, first single, sounds somewhat like their other singles, ie.
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