Review #400: Beauty and the Beat, The Go-Gos

Karla Clifton
2 min readJun 9, 2023

#400: Beauty and the Beat, The Go-Gos

Happy #400!

In honor of me starting to realize that the end truly is in sight, the month of June will be packed with as many album reviews as we can get done. I’m starting to realize the limitations of spending too much time trying to cram all the facts in. Really, all I’m trying to do is decide whether I like it or not.

In short: if these reviews are briefer going forward, it’s only because I’m trying to say it all as plainly as I can.

After a brief parlay into the Beach Boys, we return to a girl group. It feels appropriate.

You know the Go-Gos, they’re “Vacation.” They released three albums and then were no more, unless you count their reunion in 2001. It took me a long moment to connect them to Belinda Carlisle. (“Heaven Is A Place On Earth.”)

Not all the Go-Gos loved the pop direction they ended up taking, but they did it so well. See “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “We Got the Beat” both of which demand that you dance to them, or at least wiggle a little in your chair. On the other hand, listening to how well they try on other styles, I kind of get why they resisted their insanely catchy hits.

Examples of the Go-Go’s versatility:

“How Much More” = Indigo Girls + Grease

“Tonite” = Strokes (title and guitar)

“Fading Fast” = Led Zeppelin (any of their songs about mountains)

“Skidmarks On My Heart” = James Bond

“Can’t Stop The World” = Hairspray

You know who else I think owes a lot to the Go-Gos? blink-182, another tongue-in-cheek California band. Listen to a) the harmonies, b) the forward bass, and c) the smartass energy. See: “Lust To Love,” “Automatic,” “You Can’t Walk In Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep).” The fact that I’m drawing this comparison means that this is one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard.

Conclusion: I knew I would have much more fun down here at the bottom of the list than I would at the top.

Least Favorite: “This Town.” This town is our town / It is so glamorous / Bet you’d live here if you could / And be one of us. It may be satire but I don’t care.

Review #399: Brian Wilson Presents Smile, Brian Wilson

Review #401: Blondie, Blondie

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