Top positive review
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Feedin' and breedin' and pumpin' gas. Cheeseburger, cheesburger, do it again.
on July 23, 2010
I believe now is the right time for Devo, my fellow spuds. Sure, the uninitiated and uninformed will sneer and scoff, and laugh, but that's because all they know is "Whip It" and the Swiffer commercials.
No, really, I give "Something For Everybody" five stars for several reasons: 1. It's really well put together considering how long the band has been around. 2. We desperately need the obtuse, almost implied sarcastic irony that Devo are so good at peddling. I believe most of Devo's music flies right over the general public's head because all they think about is "Whip It". That's Devo's genius--subversive themes neatly packaged in 3 minute hummable tunes. A real houswife from -insert location here- could enjoy "Something For Everybody" and completely miss the boat of subversive lyrical themes.
True to form, I went back and listened to every Devo album in sequence leading up to "Something For Everybody". The band's career has certainly been spotty, particularly "Total Devo" and "Smooth Noodle Maps". Still, every album has something good on it, it's just whether the band can deliver a full 12 song set without much filler. "Something For Everybody" has a consistency not heard from the band since 1980's "Freedom Of Choice". Again, I am amazed at how well done this new album is given a 20 year absence and nearly 40 years as a band. I think about all the other artists in my music collection who have been around that long and the type of albums they are making. Devo stands apart as being fresh, valid, contemporary.
The detractors of this album seem to be few. I get that Devo's first three albums are considered their finest--I get it! But, I am willing to allow for something new if I feel the quality is there. How can you deny the quality found on "Something For Everybody"? I listened to this album all week, and it just continued to get better and better.
I do have one complaint though, and that is why Warner Bros. just didn't allow Devo to release the full 16 song album. Why do we have to have four different versions of the album? I cheated and downloaded and added "Watch Us Work It", "Signal Ready" and "Let's Get To It" to the standard 12 song album I bought. It irked me that lame old iTunes got "Knock Boots" as an exclusive bonus track.
I believe that if radio wasn't so compartmentalized and demographically challenged these days that Devo would have a slew of hits from this album. My top favorites are the following: "What We Do", "Please Baby Please", "Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)", "Sumthin'", "No Place Like Home" and "March On". That, in itself, is quite a few for one album. But the other tracks are equally as solid like "Fresh", "Mind Games", "Human Rocket", "Cameo", "Later Is Now". The weakest track is probably "Step Up", but that's not saying much. The three extra tracks are also good with "Watch Us Work It" having a catchy chorus, and "Signal Ready" harking back to those crazy post-punk days I miss so much in today's Lady GaGa'd, Katy Perry'd and Miley Cyrus'd vapid world of music.
Five stars because, honestly, I've listened to quite a bit of new music this year and this album stands out as both musically invigorating and intellectually stimulating--in the best subversive Devo way. Five stars, because, after listening to the entire Devo catalog, "Something For Everybody" lives up to its title and is superior to the last five Devo albums.
Here is how "Something For Everybody" compares to Devo's other work:
1978 Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!: Five Stars
1979 Duty Now For The Future: Four Stars
1980 Freedom Of Choice: Five Stars
1981 New Traditionalists: Four Stars
1982 Oh, No! It's Devo: Three Stars
1984 Shout: Three Stars
1988 Total Devo: Two and a Half Stars
1990 Smooth Noodle Maps: Two Stars
2010 Something For Everybody: Five Stars