Top critical review
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Too few highlights
on 23 June 2004
A lot has been written about this album, many people claiming it to be a total disaster whilst others call it a misunderstood classic. In truth it's neither. Although it's nowhere near as essential as any of their other albums it's not as bad as it's often made out to be.
The main downfall of this record is that it features the Ramones desperately trying to score a hit record and they give up their distinctive classic sound in favour of a watered-down commercial sound. The production really is appalling (Marky's drums especially suffer) but despite all these downsides there are reasons why you should own this record.
The opener "Little Bit O' Soul" is totally unlike any previous Ramones record. Instead of flat out punk it features the group playing mid-tempo soul (with unconvincing results). Sadly, too many of the songs are lukewarm overproduced pop-punk songs and the onlyhighlights of the record are when they return to their classic sound. They include "Highest Trails Above" (classic Ramones energy with totally trippy lyrics), "Outsider" (as covered by Green Day), "Time Bomb" (with Dee Dee's first lead vocal) and the superb "Psycho Therapy" (easily the equal of any of their previous anthems).
The albums main single "Time Has Come Today" is interesting but again strangely unconvincing. The group try mid-tempo soul but it just doesn't work. The closer "Everytime I Eat Vegetables" is a return to the quirky lyrics of their previous records but this time it sounds forced and uninspired.
The bonus tracks are interesting, if only to hear the Ramones in their raw glory without the awful production, plus "Indian Giver" is a great track that really would have lifted this record. Overall the record is inconsistent but it does contain some great material.