Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 02/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"New Traditionalists" found DEVO in a precarious state. Their arty irony and brainy pop smarts had made them a flavor of the moment via the "F.O.C." hit single and video, and suddenly the whole world was chanting "are we not men?" It both emboldened them and deepened their cynicism. "Through Being Cool" rallied the alienated to rise against the ninnies and the twits at the same time "Beautiful World" wearily declared that it might have been a beautiful world for you, but "it's not for me." After all, how could you rail against the lemming/jock mentality when they were the ones donning energy domes at the football games and singing "Whip It" at corporate synergy rallies?
But having been touched by the gold finger of hit making, DEVO did their best to fill an album with enthusiastic pogo anthems about their favorite topics, love sex and the willful decline of the human condition. "Jerking Back and Forth" and "Love Without Anger" are typical visions of human relationships ala DEVO. (The stop motion doll video for "L.W.A." is among the band's best.) "Going Under" had them tinkering with their sound a little, and "Working In A Coal Mine" was given the DEVO oldie treatment. Sonically, this is probably the band's best next to what Eno gave their debut. All in all, a solid album."
A strange (but excelent) twist for DEVO
Osmel | Caracas, Venezuela | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1989 I bought this record on LP format, mostly because I loved the song "Going Under", wich was included in the soundtrack of the TV series "Miami Vice". However,when I listened the whole album I was totally amazed for it's extraordinary quality. Songs like "Super Thing", "Love...without Anger" and "Through Being Cool" were not really what you could call DEVO classics, but they were the living proof of the quality of a too-often not taken seriously band. Though I love DEVO's songs like "Whip It" or "Time Out for Fun", "New Traditionalists" was one step forward in the band's search for respect. If you are into 80s electronic pop, this CD is a must have."
What Am I Doing With a Devo Album!?!
Jeffrey G. Stevenson | F.W.B.,FL | 08/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must confess that I am not a fan of New Wave. I can certainly "stomach"...and in some cases really enjoy certain bands from the genre such as The Cars, Talking Heads and The Fixx, but I absolutely adore "New Traditionalists". I actually "unshelved" this CD recently after many years of not listening to it...and it brought it all back for me and prompted me to write the one and only review I'll likely write for a New Wave release. It also got me wondering exactly how (and why) I ended up with this recording---- usually I can remember who, how and where I was "turned-on" to a new artist or band...but for the life of me, I can't remember how "NT" found its way into my collection? I don't own any other Devo albums, and probably never will---- I grew up with Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and a small portion of Pop Rock and Singer/Songwriter music....so I KNOW I didn't purchase this (besides, the mention of a band like Devo would have gotten me laughed right out of the Rock/Metal band I was playing in at the time I "aquired" this album). Anyway...enough of my ramblings. Without going into individual songs, I can say that I really enjoy every track on the original release....though I can do without the extra tracks here on the remastered CD. If pressed to name favorites, I would pick "Pity You", "Going Under", "Through Being Cool", "LWA" and "Beautiful World". Other reviews here mention how the band was trying to "say" something within the individual songs on "NT"---- I guess I can see (hear) that, however, if I want a listening experience with a "message" and social commentary, I'm not going to grab for this to get that "fix". On the other hand, if I'm in the mood for some cool, quirky and fun music that doesn't take too much "brain power" to enjoy, this exceptional release is always on 'stand-by' for me. If your looking for an 'initiation' into this band, I would (and can only) recommend looking no further than "New Traditionalists....4.5 stars"
The Spud Boy's Fourth Album
Rowdy P. Scarlett | Winston Salem, NC United States | 12/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Really, this is where the Spud's edginess ends. A very solid CD by the boys from Ohio. Some great videos came off this CD as well (Beautiful World, Love Without Anger). The CD sounds great. If you're a fan of DEVO this is an album you have to have. After this the decline begain (though, there were still bright spots). Check it out, you won't be disappointed."
Devo, Post Energy Dome
Interplanetary Funksmanship | Vanilla Suburbs, USA | 09/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD offers the casual devo-tee a chance to really understand the evolution of the de-evolution band. By sandwiching the immediate predecessor and immediate progeny of "Freedom of Choice," the listener can truly understand how Freedom Of Choice is the missing link between organic Devo (Duty Now for the Future) and synthetic Devo (New Traditionalists).
"Duty Now For The Future" was Devo's apocalyptic warning against a wiggly world taken over by corporate culture; by the time "New Traditionalists" came out, the members of Devo had been fully re-programmed to trumpet the coming of a Brave New World.
Or had they?
Songs like "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA," "Devo Corporate Anthem," "Clockout" and "Blockhead" were harbingers of a "one-size-fits all" universe that came to fruition with "Freedom of Choice," though the spudboys by that time all chose to march in energy-dome topped-off lockstep.
"New Traditionalists" was Devo's reclaiming of pop culture, fending off punks, puritans, hippies, and hausfraus with rolling pins. With their action vests, they fended off dangerous human elements who threatened the Status Quo with devolved thinking. The world is a much simpler and easy to understand place, when your head is shielded with a vacu-plastic pompadour to ward off the daddy zeroes.
But, there is a premonition of revolt in such songs from "New Traditionalists" as "Beautiful World" (for YOU; IT'S NOT FOR ME), "Through Being Cool" and "Going Under." "Working in a Coal Mine" was Devo's attempt at nostalgia as only they could understand it; disembodied computer-synth hu-boon vocals over steel guitar. It really takes a great swipe at all the MOR so-called "blues" artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton.
Devo never sold out, they just constantly repackaged themselves."