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Freak Magnet Import


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Audio CD, Import, March 7, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Beyond Records
  • ASIN: B00004KD35
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,449 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hollywood Is High
2. Freak Magnet
3. Sleepwalkin'
4. All I Want
5. New Generation
6. In The Dark
7. Rejoice And Be Happy
8. Mosh Pit
9. Forbidden
10. When You Died
11. At Your Feet
12. I Danced
13. I'm Bad
14. Happiness Is
15. A Story

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Formed in the early 1980s, the Violent Femmes and their folky, quirky, acoustic-driven take on power pop gained them a reputation as the freakish cousins of the then-massive new-wave movement. It also gave them quite a huge following, especially after the success of their debut. Their formula was simple: Gordon Gano's adenoidal whine and offbeat lyrics coupled with Brian Ritchie's frenzied acoustic bass and a simple, stripped down drum kit. Almost two decades later, their formula really hasn't changed much; Freak Magnet couldn't really have been performed by anyone other than the Violent Femmes. Gordon Gano still knows how to write great pop songs, and "Hollywood Is High," "Sleepwalkin'," or "New Generation" could have easily appeared on any previous Violent Femmes release. Freak Magnet is not the sound of a band maturing or exploring a new sound or even expanding on an old one; rather, it's the sound of a band comfortably within its element. After the feeble effort of 1994's New Times, Freak Magnet is a fantastic return to form. --Robert Burrow

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kyle on March 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
After years without a studio album, Freak Magnet is finally out. It is their best album since "Why Do Birds Sing?". After the weak "New Times" and the only slightly better import only "ROCK", the Violent Femms have regained their footing. Songs like "Freak Magnet", "Sleepwalking" and "I Danced" are fun upbeat tunes that sound like the old Violent Femms. This is a must have album for any Violent Femms fan.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Gutsell on March 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Releasing their first studio album in six years, the Violent Femmes have received mixed reviews. Comments have included progress, the punkish, cynical band still cranking out clever little ditties that are wearing thin after 15 years. Superficially, this may seem a correct analysis, but on deeper reflection, entirely wrong. VF's two previous releases, New Times, and, Why Do Birds Sing? are unrelated sounds, each its own genius, the maligned New Times a logical, intellectual sound extension, and also a filled-out, grown-up VF sound. Who else in the world could have written a catchy song about the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio? Freak Magnet has brushed away the complexity of adding to the New Times sound, an evolutionary dead-end, and made a switch as timely as U2's musical progress between Rattle & Hum and Achtung Baby. Freak Magnet reviewers have also been skewed by experience. None mention having seen the Femmes live, and this album is all about live; refer a welcome treat, Viva Wisconsin, released in the last 6 months. Freak Magnet is the cumulative output of 20 years plugged and unplugged, streetcorner, theater, stadium and studio. A writer's object is their so-called 'natural voice', not fancy college words getting in the way of communication, but a conversational voice best captured on a tape recorder. Freak Magnet is the VF Natural Voice, their musical Natural Voice, an album instantly translatable to the stage, the quick tempo of a busking-sound drum, their style, as distinctive as the wrong-end drumsticks of Pantera. Catch this music live and you will know conversion, and when it comes time to slow the show down, VF will perform bittersweet ballads up there w/ the best. U2 is rumored to be returning to their old sound- the Joshua Tree era- minus techno, can they as assuredly make the transition to their roots as the Violent Femmes?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gnarly Dunebuggy on March 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the best party albums I've heard. Although the second half of the album is a little less upbeat (and the last song is downright scary), all of the songs are strong. I really like the title song and the US single, "Sleepwalkin'". It's classic Femmes...and I kind of think of it as their first album, only a little more electric and quite a bit more upbeat. I definitely recommend Freak Magnet!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maggie N. on October 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Are Violent Femmes getting old and staying together just for the sake of the fans? Yes, obviously. Is their music suffering because of it? That's hard to tell. It is a fact that Freak Magnet, one of their newer albums is not as good as their classics, but on the other hand, the music is still excellent, just not AS excellent.

Freak Magnet tends to appeal to a newer generation of fans, more jumpy and less weird. Personally, this album is not one of my VF favorites, but as a VF fan, I still have it and listen to it occasionally. Honestly, the online-only album is better with its Rilke poems and pain-in-the-behind necessity for downloading.

I recommend Freak Magnet only if you have money to spare and have all the other VF albums already - it is not a must in a VF collection, although it's still pretty decent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love the Femmes and consider them to be one of the best live bands I've seen (Viva Wisconsin is a must buy). However, this album doesn't have any really standout songs, nor does it signal any new directions. It is a basic straightforward Femmes' sound. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But if you are not a Femmes fan, you are better off with Viva Wisconsin.
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By Mr. Guy Somebody on March 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Happiness is finding out, (much to your surprise), that in the year 2000, the Violent Femmes put out a great record (and it seems nobody, including myself, was listening). I think this record is as good as their early '80's stuff (which means everything before "3").

I didn't like alot of the stuff they did in the '90's. (After "New Times" and "Why Do Birds Sing", I basically quit listening to them).

Not every tune here is a winner, but overall I am really surprised at how good this record is. The liner notes to the re-issue CD begin with the statement, "some of us thought this record was going to be a hit. Some of us were wrong". Even though this album didn't sell, it is a hit with me.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Unmistakably VF but whether or not classic or pure VF will depend on each fan's perspective. This is much better than New Times but falls short of the wonderful Why Do Birds Sing and all their earlier great albums. Overall, Freak Magnet is harder edged and brasher in sound. Bottom line for me is this is an average album by a superior band that with a little extra TLC could have delivered a great album. I'm a bit disappointed but glad I bought it.
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Format: Audio CD
Okay so I bought this cd for 3 bucks. I'd have to say it was the best 3 dollars Ive ever spent! This is an awesome cd, sadly it is very underated. Their older stuff is still better, but thats a given. I do have beef with the VFs, whats up with them doing Sponge Bob Square Pants theme song? Hmm, I dont know. If you like acoustic/folk/punk then get this album, you wont be dissapointed.
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