I think I have been rating everything too highly lately, so this fortnight I’m not letting the Specials’ eponymous album off too easily. To compare this rating with recent reviews, deduct a star from the past two or three reviews!
This album has a very modern feel to it; perhaps more recent bands been drawing inspiration from the Specials. The best part of the album is without doubt the lyrics, which provide a wittily phrased social snapshot of the time (1979). However at times I wanted a bit more depth from the songs; for example, the opening track, A Message To You Rudy hints at social commentary, but a hint is all we get. Stupid Marriage and Too Much Too Young do this much better, and having the two similarly themed tracks in succession gives the impression the the Specials really wanted to make a point!
There were few tracks that stood out for me musically, and the instrumentals are generally simplistic, allowing the vocals to take centre stage. This was a bit repetitive* at times, but with busier background I might have missed what the Specials were trying to say.