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New Roman Times

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Audio CD, October 12, 2004
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Amazon's Camper Van Beethoven Store


Image of album by Camper Van Beethoven


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Camper Van Beethoven - New Album Available 1/22/13


True to the freewheeling, joyfully schizophrenic swirl of rock, punk, ska, folk, world music and (insert next genre-bending style here) that has defined the Camper Van Beethoven aesthetic since the enduring lineup took shape circa mid-80s, each member of the band has a different spin on how they started working on the songs that developed into La Costa Perdida, their debut on 429 Records and ... Read more in Amazon's Camper Van Beethoven Store

Visit Amazon's Camper Van Beethoven Store
for 14 albums, 5 photos, videos, and 11 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • ASIN: B0002ZDX20
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,708 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Prelude
2. Sons Of The New Golden West
3. 51-7
4. White Fluffy Clouds
5. That Gum You Like Is Back In Style
6. Might Makes Right
7. Militia Song
8. R 'N R Uzbekistan
9. Sons Of The New Golden West (Reprise)
10. New Roman Times
11. The Poppies Of Balmorhea
12. The Long Plastic Hallway
13. I Am Talking To This Flower
14. Come Out
15. Los Tigres Traficantes
16. I Hate This Part Of Texas
17. Hippy Chix
18. Civil Disobedience
19. Discotheque CVB
20. Hey Brother

Editorial Reviews

CVB always thrilled their fans with their freewheeling iconoclasm. By the time they made Key Lime Pie however, song craft and maturity replaced the band's early more sardonic and mischievous ways, and it's there from which the work for NEW ROMAN TIMES picked up and began.

Customer Reviews

Definitely a must have for CVB and Cracker fans.
C. M. Rowell
The songs are full of obscure references you will want to Google and symbolism that keep you listening again and again to decipher the meaning.
Tim Schmidt
This is a brilliant collection of songs that are diverse, pleasantly strange, and ingeniously conceived.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pop Kulcher on April 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Reunion albums are generally lame; bands who break up should stay broken up. Pretty good guidelines. But then we wouldn't have New Roman Times, one of my favorite albums of 2004, and probably a more consistently entertaining album than anything CvB put out back in their original mid-80's incarnation. On its face, it should be a total wash-out -- it's not just a reunion album, but a concept album. Ugh. Some sort of impossible-to-decipher futuristic tale of the fascist apocalypse. Geez, I feel like I'm back at summer camp listening to my stoner bunkmate extolling the virtues of Rush's 2112.

But set aside the concept, and there are an unreasonably large number of great songs here. Now, keep in mind that CvB albums usually have 5-6 good songs and a lot of filler (unless you're a fan of their bizarre Baltic-folk-polka-stomps, which I'm not). This one's got maybe 10 good songs. Still far short of the 20 tracks that appear on the album, but 10 good songs are still more than you find on most albums. And some are really great. "51-7" (no, I have no idea what that means) is their strongest anthem since... well, maybe even their first (and greatest) song, "Take The Skinheads Bowling." And "That Gum You Like Is Back In Style" is the prettiest slice of mellow Americana since... well, maybe their last good song, "Sweethearts" (from their pre-breakup swan song). The rest (excluding the weird instrumental nonsense that I mostly skip) is a pleasant, and at times captivating, blend of and indie pop, earnest songwriting and goofy humor. By all means check it out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Zimmy on October 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This record sounds great, that's the first thing you notice right away. There might be a jig on electric violin out front, but underneath all this monstrous electric guitar soloing. After I played it a few times, I looked at the booklet and there is a rock opera thing going on about a disalusioned soldier and an underground movement. Maybe it took CVB fifteen years because the rocord is quite complex. And funny, LOL stuff. It fits in with CVB II or any of their old stuff; certain references to Cracker crop up. It's a big rock record from left field. I hope some more intelligent reviews than this one follow, because this record is thought provoking, funny, and it rocks (the guitars sometimes remind me of the third Santana album - dare I say acid drenched?). Enough. Glad to have them back.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Ash on October 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In a day when a renion cd can mean that half or less of the original band is back, "New Roman Times" actually features all the original members of Camper Van Beethoven. And what an ambitious cd it is. The songs, while great on their own, form a concept cd that is a dark political parable for our times. Everthing you expect from Camper is here: instrumentals, humor, politics, and psychedelics. But this is also a mature group and they bring influences of their individual work since 1989's "Key Lime Pie." In fact, Cracker's John Hickman plays on the cd and co-wrote "That Gum You Like is Back in Style." This is the tightest the band has ever sounded. Just take a listen to "Civil Disobedience" for example. For Camper fans, this is the reunion we've been waiting for. Here's hoping it reaches new fans as well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tick tock on January 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Neil Young said a few years back that he had been waiting for someone to record an album that would stand up to the war in Iraq. In the absence of such a record, he finally put out his own. I guess he didn't have a chance to hear New Roman Times, because, if he had, he might have stayed home altogether.

New Roman Times is a terrible and glorious vision. It is one of fear, and anger, and unity, and blind obedience in the face of terror. It is the wake of aggression, it is the rumblings of an awakened people, it is the horror we face as a result of our actions.

If this isn't one of the finest protest albums ever recorded, then I don't what is. It is more than just a three minute jingle. It is the long dark journey of a nation misled... one groping blindly in the dark.

It is also musically brilliant.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MiseryCreek on October 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It was with some trepidation that I approached this record. Although a huge fan of CVB from their first record through "Revolutionary Sweetheart", I was disappointed in "Key Lime Pie" and have never been much of a fan of Cracker or The Monks of Doom.

Despite elements of both projects showing up, most noticably in "Hippy Chix" (Cracker) and both "White Fluffy Clouds" and "Discotheque CVB" (Monks of Doom), this is very much a Camper Van Beethoven record. After several listens, there are no tracks that grab my attention and put an immediate smile on my face (as there were on all previous Camper records, even "Key Lime Pie"), but this is clearly a return to form, and the return of Jonathan Segel as violinist/multi-instrumentalist is most welcome.

My favorite tracks so far are the eastern European ska of "R 'n R Uzbekistan" (which could have been an out take from any one of their first three records) and the darkly humorous "Might Makes Right", both of which are close in the track listing and land about 1/3rd of the way through the record - right where it really starts picking up steam.

The wry, tongue in cheek lyrical content has survived the 15 year hiatus successfully, although the album content is darker than any previously - inevitable maybe, given the times in which we live. The concept (and yes, it is a concept album) is certainly topical, but handled with enough fantastic elements and black humor to keep it from seeming overbearing.

I could go on all day - Camper was one of my favorite bands, and seeing them go (even in their diminished form of the "key Lime Pie" era) was difficult to take. I couldn't be happier they're back, original line-up intact, and this record is a worthy first outing after such a long absence. I have a feeling it's only going to get better from here. Welcome back, boys.
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