Spin - p.140
"[T]he Beat always had the best songs. Their debut skanks nonstop..."
The English Beat: Saxa, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Moreton, Ranking Roger, Dave Wakeling.
Digitally remastered by Bob Sargeant (The Townhouse Studio, London, England).
Audio Remasterer: Phil Kinrade.
With the group's 1980 debut, I JUST CAN'T STOP IT, the English Beat single-handedly defined the high-spirited ska revival sound that later gained immense popularity in the late '90s. I JUST CAN'T STOP IT was a massively influential album that has aged better than anything recorded by contemporaries like the Specials and the Selecter. Unlike the more traditional Jamaican-flavored ska sounds offered by those bands, the English Beat was not afraid to acknowledge its pop and punk influences.
I JUST CAN'T STOP IT features 14 songs that range from a moving, straight-faced rendition of pop crooner Andy Williams' "Can't Get Used to Losing You," to the punky original "Click Click," where a furious bassline and slashing electric guitars race each other to the track's end. On "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Twist and Crawl," the English Beat fuses deep bass groves, dub percussion, and gritty rhythm guitars with singer Dave Wakeling's bright pop melodies to create a joyful, exuberant sound that has rarely been duplicated. Packed with tremendous performances like an upbeat ska rendition of Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" and the bouncy ska-pop of "Best Friend," I JUST CAN'T STOP IT is a flawless album that is impossible to resist.