Entertainment Weekly (5/24/02, p.95) - "...A more global-pop excercise, with touches of dub and calypso...Those pining for skinny ties can view videos too..." - Rating: B+
Q (4/02, p.133) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...[Their] 1980's detached, queasy follow-up [to their debut]...Jaunty music hall, bossa nova and mariachi trumpets suggest a nominal celebration/holiday theme, but the panicked gallows feel renders everything grotesque..."
Uncut (1/03, p.97) - Included in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
The Specials: Neville Staples (vocals, percussion); Terry Hall (vocals); Lynval Golding (guitar, background vocals); Roddy Radiation (guitar); Jerry Dammers (piano, organ); Sir Horace Gentleman (bass); John Bradbury (drums).
Additional personnel: Rhoda Dakar (vocals); Kik Thompson, Paul Heskatt (saxophones); Dick Cuthell (flugelhorn, cornet); Rico Rodriguez (trombone); The Go-Go's (background vocals).
Producers: Jerry Dammers, Dave Jordan.
Reissue Producers: Nigel Reeve, Rob Owen.
Recorded at Horizon Studios, Coventry, England. Includes liner notes by Adrian Thrills.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
The Specials' sophomore effort boasts an even greater stylistic diversity than the band's remarkable debut. Though revivalist ska mixed with an early 1980s New Wave energy is still the keynote, as evidenced by the leadoff song, a cover of Prince Buster's "Enjoy Yourself," MORE SPECIALS also delves into cha-cha, cocktail jazz, and more. "Stereotypes," for example, brings together a lounge-ready mix of dub, mariachi, and Ennio Morricone-esque Western themes in a way that presages the post-rock revival of those genres in the '90s.
Other tracks, particularly the upbeat "Hey, Little Rich Girl" (which features sax work by Madness's Lee Thompson) and the old-school R&B-tinged "Sock It to 'Em J.B." (a tongue-in-cheek James Bond tribute), recall the Specials' first album. But it is the curveball, experimental work that is the most striking, especially the trippy dub groove (and nuclear-protest message) of "Man at C&A" and the quirky, space-age bounce of "International Jet Set." Though it's possible that the Specials' stylistic innovation confused some fans, the ambition on MORE SPECIALS is extremely impressive. The 2002 reissue includes an enhanced feature with videos for "Ghost Town" and "Rat Race" (though the songs aren't included on the album proper).