After 30 years, the English Beat with Dave Wakeling have released a brand new full-length album called Here We Go Love! I suppose if you don’t count Ranking Roger’s Beat album that was released a year ago. Dave Wakeling started a PledgeMusic campaign about 4 years ago so this album has been an ongoing process for long time now. Was the wait worth it? Damn right it was!
If there is any indicator how good an album will be, it’s the opening track. “How Can You Stand There” sounds like the perfect transition from their songs from the 80s to now. Just like back then, the songs have political and social meaning to them as well. The songs are really poppy and fun, and could see some of these tunes on movie soundtracks – just like previous English Beats songs. After listening to this album for over a month now, there’s certainly some stand out tracks but it’s just an absolute joy to hear new music from Wakeling. It just puts a smile on my face, especially how long it’s been since we had new music from The English Beat.
“The One and The Only” is another one I can’t wait to hear live and just a catchy tune. “Redemption Time” is a nice reggae song and “If Killing Worked” is a soulful one with a nifty “The People United, Will Never Be Defeated!” thrown in there too. The title track “Here We Go Love” is a really fast song and has Dave at his most vulgar and pissed off that I’ve heard him in a song. I’m definitely loving this one!
“Never Die” is slow but it’s so much more than some slow song. There’s part that pick up and it’s an interesting song to say the least. The next track “The Love You Give” is a song you might have heard years ago when Dave recorded it acoustically. He used my live photo of him for the cover which was cool! This version is by far the superior version and a lot more upbeat. Another upbeat song is “You Really Outta Know,” and just when you think Dave is out of catchy songs, he delivers another one.
Besides Dave and the band, Roddy Radiation formerly of The Specials and with Skabilly Rebels played on some tracks, as well Train guitarist Luis Maldonado and backing vocalists Durga McBroom, Kevin Williams and Jelani Jones. The late Saxa also hummed some melodies to Dave before he passed, which he incorporated into the music. Not sure which tracks but still really nice to hear he had some input.
There’s 13 tracks in all and not a dull one in the batch. Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 30 years for Dave to write new music. We couldn’t have asked for a better album from Dave Wakeling and English Beat! Well, we could gotten this sooner or perhaps this was just the right time to release this album during these trouble political times in both the US (Trump) and UK (Brexit).
Bottom Line: One of my favorite albums of the year and the wait was definitely worth it!
Notable Tracks: How Can You Stand There, The One and The Only, Here We Go Love, You Really Outta Know, Drive Her Away