Review Summary: Q: Are We Still Men? A: We Remain DEVO!
After 20 years with no new material since Smooth Noodle Maps
, the Spudboys have finally brought themselves back with this album, Something For Everybody
. It's probably their strongest release so far, with a blend of modern pop and the old sonically mutated, blues-driven punk we all know and love Devo for, but perhaps a little more streamlined. The title of the album, as it suggests, will appeal to anyone, no matter if you're a newly recruited Spud, or if you've been with Devo since the 1970s, or even if you haven't heard of Devo at all.
Most of the songs here are reminiscent of other titles from Devo's earlier days, which I think is pretty neat.
"Fresh"--You cannot listen to this song and not be dancing or singing along by the end of it. It's catchy, it's powerful, and the guitar solo is lifted from "Be Stiff". 4.8/5.0
"What We Do"--As with "Fresh", this song is catchy and powerful, but it goes all over the place, with sudden changes in time signature and tempo, random lyrics, and vocals either being traded back and forth, or sung in harmony. "Smart Patrol" and "Blockhead", anyone? 4.5/5.0
"Please Baby Please"--This is about as close to a genuine love song as Devo's gonna get, and it's STILL strange! Bob1 goes ahead and pulls out a whammy bar-operated solo (*ahem* "Mr. DNA" *cough*) while the synths in the background whine, buzz, and scream. 4.0/5.0
"Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)"--Nothing needs to be said here. It's awesome. 5.0/5.0
"Mind Games"--Haha, Devo and their Moog synths. That's what you get with this song, wherein Devo has been able to compose and write songs that are COMMERCIAL without being POP. I can't think of anyone else other than Chuck Berry who could pull that off. 4.7/5.0
"Human Rocket"--Apparently, Mark's a human rocket who sings a la "Speed Racer". 4.3/5.0
"Sumthin'"--Teeming with elements from "Whip It" and some of their more popular songs, This is probably the strongest song on the whole album. 5.0/5.0
"Step Up"--"Listen up, y'all, it's D-E-V-O!" Other than that, there's not much more to this song. Maybe another Spud will like it, but I don't. 3.5/5.0
"Cameo"--It's always good to hear Bob1 in the lead vocal section. This is a song that takes the basic themes of Devo's early ballads ("Mongoloid", "Chango", "Subhuman Woman", etc.) and puts them to quirky dance music. 3.5/5.0
"Later Is Now"--I think this is similar to "Patterns" (on Oh, No! It's Devo
), but, of course, modernized. Also not much to say. 3.0/5.0
"No Place Like Home"--If you're a man with a mission to find a Devo song with feeling, this song is for you. If you feel like you'll have to get rid of your Spud Card because you'll almost cry from listening, skip this track. This is the most emotional song on the album, even more moving than "Booji Boy's Funeral". And this time there's no "Can You Take It" to save you. 2.5/5.0
"March On"--It's still emotional, but not as much. Think "Beautiful World". 2.5/5.0
To conclude, this album is, as I said, their strongest release yet. However, I don't enjoy the last few songs as much as the rest of the album. Either way, This album is a must-have. Welcome back, Devo! Duty Now... More than ever!