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Review: Men At Work – Business As Usual

Men At Work – Business As Usual is a breathtaking album that will take you out of this world due to the reggae rock sound used! You’ll swear you’re listening to reggae music when you listen to this album. Business As Usual album uses a fusion of reggae rock madden with that new wave pop rock sound. This album is the best Australia has to offer. You can never go wrong with Australian music.

Men At Work – Business As Usual is one of those rare albums where literally every single track is great to listen to and enjoy. It is a wonderful album. No tracks are worth skipping at all. All of these songs are good songs. The sound is incredible on vinyl and CD.

Who Can It Be Now? is driven by a memorable saxophone solo that will be stuck in your head for decades. The song Who Can It Be Now? has a memorable saxophone solo similar to how George Michael – Careless Whisperer has one. The legendary saxophone solo is what stands out next to the lyrics.

Who Can It Be Now? is the anthem for introverts and the paranoid. This song is something the paranoid and introverts can relate to. To those constantly wondering who could be at their door. Do you always feel like somebody’s watching you? You hear a knock at the front door. You wonder, “Who could it be now?” That’s what this song is about.

Now when you listen to the song Down Under, you swear you’re listening to reggae music. This is the song that will take you out of this world and blow your mind! Down Under uses a breathtaking fusion of reggae rock and new wave pop rock.

Down Under should be the Australia National Anthem as listening to this song will make you feel patriotic towards Australia. Regardless of spicy memes, this song is really good. One has to wonder why Parliament has not made this song the national anthem for Australia.

You get a nationalistic, patriotic feeling when you listen to Down Under. Some of the lyrics to the chorus are about celebrating the country of Australia. However that is not the main point of the chorus. The chorus is about the overdevelopment of the country Australia in many ways. Greedy people were buying out in Australia for tourism purposes. Australia was selling out in many ways during that time as the country was becoming a popular tourist destination. The song also deals with country’s dying identity as a result of overdevelopment and greed. Men At Work felt if Australia was loosing their cultural identity.

Men At Work felt as if there was a loss of spirit in that country. The loss of Australian spirit was a result of overdevelopment and Americanization. Australia was doing fine before overdevelopment and Americanization ever occurred.

Be Good Johnny is an Australian cover of Johnny B. Goode with a reggae rock twist. The title of the song is a reference to Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode. The song written from the viewpoint of a 9 year old boy who is constantly told to be good but prefers daydreaming in class.

Lyrics to this song are sung in a Patois accent to them as you would expect to hear from a reggae song. Notice how the lyrics are misspelt. Also notice the overuse of the apostrophe character (‘ or ’). This punctuation mark is used all over the lyrics throughout the song. The vocalist is clearly using a Patois accent to follow the reggae rock sound. Read the lyrics to get a better understanding.

[Verse 1]
Skip de skip, up the road
Off to school you go
“Don’t you be a bad boy Johnny
Don’t you slip up
Or play the fool”
“Oh no Ma, Oh no Da
I’ll be your golden boy
I will obey ev’ry golden rule”
Get told by the teacher
Not to day-dream
Told by my mother

Lyrics to Verse 2 have keyboardist Greg Ham trying to figure out what Johnny is like .

[Verse 2]
“Are you going to play football this year, John?”
“Nah!”
“Oh, well you must be going to play cricket this year then
Are you Johnny?”
“Nah! nah! nah!”
“Boy, you sure are a funny kid, Johnny, but I like you! So tell me
What kind of a boy are you, John?”

I only like dreaming
All the day long
Where no one is screaming

Helpless Automaton deals with the helpless addiction to video games. Helpless Automaton is another underrated song on this album. Mechanic automation replaces human interaction and socialization. The instrumental solo at the 2:45 mark sounds like an Atari video game. Their inspiration came from Atari.

You stay all on alone in your room. Why do you need light? Machines can see in the night. Lyrics to the first verse explain what’s happening inside the mind of a video game addict.

[First Verse]
I stay in my room
All alone in the gloom
What need I of light?
And I feel no pain
Metal heart and a metal brain
But something is wrong
‘Cause I still feel that signal coming in so

I stand at your door
I guess I’ll wait a moment more
Your hall light comes on
And now my turn to fire upon
But I wheel away
Defer my plight, for another day
To dream of your face
But a video screen takes its place

Underground is laced with the sounds of hard rock and a saxophone solo to an upbeat rhythm. Underground is a really underrated song on this album.

Lyrics to the first verse explained the overdevelopment and Americanization going on in Australia during the 1980s. The band felt a sense of overdevelopment going on in their country going on at that time. Dealing with overdevelopment is one of the many themes on the album. They criticize the Australian Parliament for catering to the rich.

Don’t take the fire from your eyes
Must make them feel the heat
They build castles underground for the rich and politic elite
Keep all the home fires burning
Don’t let the lights go out
The streets are empty, and there’s nobody about

The band views overdevelopment as a big joke. The government downplays everything. Just read these lyrics.

It’s such a big joke
It’s the talk of the town
All the planets to whom I spoke
Are trying their best to play it down

We’ll be alright in the morning time, yeah
We’re doing fine, I’ll see you on the night line

There’s no need for you to fight, boys
Hang up all your guns
Find your mask and as best as you can, get ready to run
Keep all the food lines moving
Don’t come cry’n’ for more
The signs were there, you should have bought connections before

These lyrics explain that Australia was doing fine before overdevelopment and Americanization ever occurred.

We’ll be alright in the morning time, yeah
We’re doing fine, I’ll see you on the night line

Jump off the Eiffel Tower
Just have a look around
Move fast, in the tunnels of the underground
Move fast, in the tunnels of the underground

Touching the Untouchables is a song that fits every decade. The song deals homelessness. The “disrespectables” that Men At Work is referring to are homeless people.

These lyrics call out society for disrespecting the homeless.: “Touching the untouchables but they don’t know/Respect the disrespectables, but in the end you know/You turn away, what can I say?/You’ll never, never know/You’ll never know”

Hello to you, my sweet young friends
Have you got money perhaps you could lend?
I wash my leather face in the afternoon sun
My shirt’s torn, my time’s near done

There are many people on Earth that are homeless. These lyrics show there is no dignity in being homeless.

Spend my nights in the telephone booth
I make sure I leave the phone off the hook
There are no Jones’ and I pay no rent
I have to stand straight because my back’s so bent
Tell my secretary I ain’t takin’ any calls
And if you want to find me, just ask the boys…
Down at the wall…That’s where I’ll be…

Park bench and cigarettes
Can you help me get off this fence?
Can’t you see, I’m just an old man
Tryin’ hard, do what I can

I Can See It in Your Eyes is a lovely love song of melancholy and nostalgia. The song is a beautiful breakup song. Spartan keys fall into place appropriately on this song. The spartan chords resonate during the guitar solo.

Catch a Star serves as a lesson in relationships. Catch a Star uses such powerful progression in the power chords. The song has a powerful vibe. Engineering and production on this is perfect and crystal clear. The sound is incredible on vinyl and CD.

People Just Love to Play with Words is a playful song regarding human nature. Down By The Sea is a nautical love song.

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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