The Liberty Of Norton Folgate
Label: Yep Roc Records
After years of making lots of dough as a U.K. concert staple, Madness come back with their strongest set of original material since the mid-'80s. Suggs and the boys keep their ska revival sound while concentrating on songcraft, returning to the kind of everyday English narratives that has tied them to the Kinks and the Jam as much as Desmond Dekker. That old pub/music hall sing-along vibe helps make tunes such as "We Are London," "On the Town" and "Idiot Child" stand up to their classic numbers. Fans will instantly warm to the nutty songs about aging lotharios, fallen arches and dashed dreams.