Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Devo ~ Something For Everybody

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: electronic, hard rock, new wave
Label: Warner Brothers
Year: 2010
Home: n/a

Members: Bob Casale ~ rhythm guitar/programming/b. vocals
Gerald V. Casale ~ vocals/bass
Josh Freese ~ drums
Bob Mothersbaugh ~ guitars/b. vocals
Mark Mothersbaugh ~ vocals/synthesizers

Additional: Jeff Friedl ~ drums
Van Coppock ~ guitar


Who else can sound like no time has passed but quirky Devo? I'm sure that wasn't your first guess, but after biting into this ninth release by them coming twenty years after their last effort Smooth Noodle Maps, you'll agree that they are one of the best answers next time you watch Jeopardy. The production might be more polished than past albums, Mark Mothersbaugh's voice is a bit deeper, the beats might owe more to current dancefloor dj's then disco, while the guitar solos have an unexpected metal edge, but the music is the same quirky jerky new wave Devo was doing in the 70's. At times it's even possible to forget that hair metal, grunge & hip-hop ever happened as there's such a timeless quality about this.
Devo have always been timeless & it's hard not to enjoy the result. If you don't find yourself jumping around I'd be surprised. But, this isn't a 70's nostalgia flashback. It sounds like the band today doing contemporary music with a quirky edge. I'm reminded of the Doors reunion with Ian Astbury (aka Riders On The Storm/Doors Of The 21st Century). It sounds like you would expect the Doors to sound like today without abandoning their trademark sound. That's one problem with classic bands that haven't stopped making music, such as the Rolling Stones. They lost they sound that made them famous. Devo is a strange beast, hard to pin down, hard to pidgeon hole, hard to describe. Most famous for their MTV video "Whip It", yet fans will probably agree that they had far far better songs in the catalog. For those who have seen too many reunion albums which have disappointed expectations this new album has something for everybody which includes living up to expectations. The single "Fresh" is as memorable as anything Devo put out in the 70's, the few albums following in the 80's not being worth much consideration, with the rest of the of the tracks being of equal quality. It's all here: quircky singing, disjointed rhythms, an electronic foundation now spiced up with some big dance beats as good as anything on the dancefloor today & a lot of comedy done under a straight face. The great thing about Devo, outside of the memorable lyrics, is the punchy rhythms that never quite sound right. The Pet Shop Boys would later take this style in a more campy direction while peer Gary Numan went into darker direction, but Devo always keep it fun, though at times one gets glimmers of serioius social thought. Critics unanimously have agreed that this is a highlight, raning from allmusic to Rolling Stone. If you've yet to be sure of what you think of Devo - check out this album first. They're now cool to like, if you haven't heard. Some people say they're not as cocky or witty as they used to be, but that's what alienated many fans. Take that away & you've pretty much got .... something for everybody.



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