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New Roman Times Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 12, 2004
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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.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B0002ZDX20
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,862 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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 alt.country and indie pop, earnest songwriting and goofy humor. By all means check it out.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Five stars for the original 2004 release, not the 2015 remaster.
I've followed this band since their first album. New Roman Times was a breath of fresh air, with a sense of purpose and renewal in a post 9-11 America. IMO, it was their first major release in 15 years, and their best album to date. So it was with some interest when they released a 10 year remaster with extra tracks, and of course I grabbed it. Unfortunately, it's louder, but not better sounding. Some tracks are blown out and slightly distorted. The original master had a sense of space and depth, and the remaster has been flattened out. My advice is to seek out the one with the blue sky cover. The bonus tracks, if anything, lessen the thematic storytelling of the original track listing, and the mastering job on the new version frankly blows.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Even if this album wasn't, as of the date of this review, only $3.99 (or 1 cent used, "very good"), it is really an impressive return by Camper Van Beethoven. A few purely instrumental, interesting tracks, like they were used to doing, plus, among the highlights, some great songs, including the catchy "51-7" and "Might Makes Right," "That Gum You Like..." with its lilting country twang, the southern style "Militia Song" played to lively violin, the laid-back beauty of "New Roman Times, the oddball and funny "Los Tigres Traficantes," the cool "...Long Plastic Highway," and the hip "Hippy Chix." There are only a couple duds, "I Hate This Part of Texas" and "Discotheque CVB." I checked it out on Spotify.com and, maybe first listen I wasn't so sure, but there is really some good music here that, with time, just grows on you. That this album goes in a new direction from previous albums and is still filled with quality music, shows what a great band CVB really is.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't understand all the negative response this album has elicited in long-time CVB fans. It may not be another TFLV or Key Lime Pie, but it is still a good album never the less. After a 15 year absence I wouldn't expect them to sound exactly the same as before, I would hope for a little musical growth. While it may lack songs that catch you at first listen, it has it's share of great songs ("51-7", "That Gum You Like is Back in Style"). The only song that threw me for a loop at first was "Discotheque CVB" and at least it attempts something different. I would rather have an album like New Roman Times then no new CVB at all.
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