Something For Everybody CD
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Something For Everybody
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Vinyl, 19 Jul 2010
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Something for Everybody is Devo's ninth studio album, and comes after a 20 year absence since the last effort from the American new wave legends. The album was a long time in coming for Devo fans, being the first since 1990s Smooth Noodle Maps. Something for Everybody features guest appearances by Santigold and the Teddy Bears and is produced by the Bird and the Bee's Greg Kurstin.
When they first appeared in the late-70s wearing boiler suits and spud boy hats, a mix of punk guitars and cutting edge electronics, sporting the patronage of both Brian Eno and David Bowie, Akron, Ohio's Devo seemed as much a mysterious cult as a band. Their vision of the future–that as the human race evolved society was regressing, or something–was as thought-provoking as Kraftwerk's man/machine debate, but possibly because of the eccentric headwear and ironic lyrics, nobody quite saw Devo in the same exalted light as the funky Germans.
Twenty years after their last album of original material, 1990's poor Smooth Noodle Maps, and 30 years after they released anything even the most dedicated fan could make a convincing case for, they once again return to chart the downfall of the American Dream.
Something for Everyone isn't a return to the halcyon days, but neither is it a deluded grasp for relevance, their sonic instincts still intact, the wheezy synths and buzzing guitars sharp and modern. Lead track and single Fresh sounds as perky as anything in their canon, with What We Do and Step Up only shades behind it; but too often it's an inconsistent world of quirk over content.
Please Baby Please is an unappealing mixture of Antmusic and cult 60s garage nutjobs The Monks, while Mind Games is something you never really want to hear–a Devo 'love' song filled with observations like "trying on dresses half her size". References to day-glo skies, hybrid cars and the robotic vapidity of modern America litter the other tracks and overshadow even Later Is Now, the one true return to old form.
Sadly, as every year passes without Devo reaping any of the retro-fit plaudits afforded bands who surfed their bow wave–The Human League, Heaven 17, even dear old Gary Numan–their former sense of ironic fun seems to be slipping into bitterness (witness the title of their 2000 anthology album, Pioneers Who Got Scalped). But there is just enough here to suggest the end is hardly nigh. Musically, at least, Devo still sit right up the front of the good ship electronica. --Andy Fyfe
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Top customer reviews
For all Devo fans out there, this should definitely 'float your boat'.
From the irresistible opener, Fresh, the tracks are expertly enhanced with the use of chip tune-style computer sound effects (Mind Games and Step Up), rocking guitars and siren-like synth (Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)). No Place Like Home seems like a slight departure with an unexpected piano intro but is a great number and works well as the penultimate track.
Devo have moved with the times, yet make it feel like they never went away. New bands should take note.
The photography is superb and the cover image is instantly iconic.
Packed full of humour, catchy songs and innovation, Something For Everybody may well live up to its title. I can't speak highly enough of this album.
Devo are back and the world is a better place!
March On, spuds!
Yes, many of the songs here sound very similar, and I prefer to play pieces individually rather than as an album as a whole; but then that's no different to their earlier albums. All the quirks, repetitive rhythms, catchy and jokey and pertinent lyrics, and their personal ethos run through these songs. Whilst they might not catch new fans with these, they will delight their loyal fans. It's a celebration of Devolution!
Favourite tracks would be What We Do, Please Baby Please, Sumthin', and the joyous March On! (A new anthem if ever I heard one). The only dud(ish) song here is Mind Games, which doesn't have the cool factor of the other songs.
In a decade where 'product' is now everything, here is Something For Everybody. If it feels familiar, it's because DEVO were right all along. Later Is Now.
A fantastic album. Can't stop playing it.
with a sparkling gem of an album. You wouldn't wait that long for a bus
but some things are worth waiting for. 'Something For Everybody' was.
The Casales and the Mothersbaughs are no longer spring chickens but
on the evidence of this pert and perky collection they still have a spring
in their step! The twelve tracks are fairly brimming over with the
incomparable spirit of silliness which has always defined their best work.
The tunes are catchy, the beats are big and bouncy and there is plenty of
scope for the creation of daft, jerky dances of your own surreal design!
(Mrs Wolf and I tried out some synchronised moves to ' Sumthin' ' and
ended up bumping our heads together with such force that we both still
had bruises to show for it a week later!)
The songs are all economically compressed into arrangements each lasting
not much more or less than three minutes. This formula is responsible
for a great part of the project's charm. Minimum waste/maximum pleasure.
The spirit of the eighties is alive and well in many of the compositions.
'No Place Like Home' is a particularly striking example. Propelled along
by Josh Freese's fine drumming, the anachronistic ambience is curiously
affecting and uplifting in a "those were the days" kind of way.
'Later Is Now', too, looks backwards to a time of big haircuts and even bigger
shoulders in a flurry of soaring cheesy synth interventions and pointedly
percussive vocals (Spandau Ballet came to mind for more than a moment!)
In 'What We Do' the band turns a gently cynical eye on itself in a song of
rollickingly good-natured insanity. The vocal treatments are a hoot!
'Step Up' should have been the lead single rather than 'Fresh' (albeit another
cracking track). The driving rhythm and deliciously infectious hook would
cause mayhem on any dancefloor! It's sort-of angry in a funny kind of way.
The spiky guitar lines, bubbling synth-bass, tolling bell and frantic yodeling
on 'Cameo' define what is, perhaps, the strongest song in the collection and
one of the finest in the band's long history. A top-notch stomper!
Final track is a splendid robotic anthem bringing the album to a rousing
conclusion. A big sticky cherry on top of a richly-layered cake.
Something For Everybody? I really do believe that might just be possible!
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I love this album.
worth every penny
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