It has nothing to do with David Lynch...
Lead Guitarist of the Manic-Cures | Near Indian Point, NY please don't blow us up! | 11/07/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow. The "Professional" reviewers on this Amazon thang, out to join the jojo online digest. Too serious! This is not like David Lynch (who makes films and not music) nor is it not live Pee Wee Herman's New Kind of Neighborhood. It's a rockin' and a rolling and a singin' of songs -- New kind of Neighborhood!"
Hit after hit of pure JR sunshine...
Gena Chereck | Nebraska, USA | 10/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The sheer joy on this disc is palpable and pervasive. After brief stints at Sire (1983's Jonathan Sings!), Twin Tone (1985's Rockin' And Romance), and Upside (1986's It's Time For Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers) -- by the way, will these albums EVER be brought back into print?! -- perhaps Jonathan anticipated a longer, happier relationship with his then-new label, Rounder. (He would go on to record six more albums for the label from 1989 to 1995.) And although he had spent a great deal of time in California before this album, he seems especially inspired by his surroundings on tunes like "New Kind of Neighborhood," "I Love Hot Nights," "California Desert Party," and "Circle I" (a rollicking ode to a produce-growing "ranch out West"). Life as a family-man seems to have informed other tracks: On "I Have Come Out to Play," he paints a vivid portrait of childhood, complete with bike-riding, a "purple squirt gun," and leaping up from the dinner table to play outside some more before the sun goes down; the how-we-fell-in-love ballad "Everything's Gotta Be Right" is sort of a precursor to "Just for Fun" and "A Higher Power"; "Gail Loves Me," an ode to his then-wife, contains few lyrics beyond the title phrase but now seems rather poignant in light of later events (see 1996's Surrender To Jonathan and 1998's I'm So Confused). The opener "Dancin' Late at Night" and the instrumental "African Lady" are fun throwaways; but my favorite track -- "When Harpo Played His Harp," a tribute to the late, silent Marx Brother -- shows a rare serious side of Richman. Musically, the influence of '50s and early '60s rock 'n' roll can be heard in almost every track. My only other complaint about this disc -- aside from the rather indulgent closer, a hummed rendition of "The Theme form 'Moulin Rouge'" -- is that it's just too short (at 30 minutes) and, for the most part, too slight. (I still recommend Modern Lovers '88, but for weightier fare from this period, check out 1991's Having A Party and 1992's I, Jonathan first.)"
Like a Memorial Day BBQ in my CD player...
Gena Chereck | 02/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...Or more songs about dancing and food. This is happy, jangly, upbeat, mid-tempo music. A short album (about 35 min) without a single guitar solo, but mucho cheerful strumming. Jonathan Richman isn't very ambitious here; sometimes it seems like he's making it up as they go along. The lyrics aren't very challenging, but they are relentlessly happy. He sings about purple squirt guns, riding his bike before it gets too dark, being loved, dancing, partying, with lots and lots of references to food - guacamole, corn, tomatoes, potatoes and the only reference to "falafel" I know of in any song. He sings words like: "Wangetty dangetty dingy dangetty dangetty dingy." And the music sounds like those words. It's the sort of music where you can tell what the whole album is like by listening to any five seconds of it. If you're feeling dour, this might be too upbeat for you. Either you hate it or love it. I personally loved it. I've listened to this CD every other day for the last half-year."