Devo's "Something for Everyone" Music Review

6/20/2010 Posted by Admin

Devo's "Something for Everyone"

Music Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Q: How does a band maintain their creative spark after a 20-year lapse?

A: Turn pop music on its ear.

On "Something for Everyone," the new wave frontiersmen Devo infuse their robotic sense of self into the booming sounds of contemporary music, creating a mixture of new and old sounds that give the band an extraordinary perspective on popular culture.

From beginning to end, it’s hard to say that "Something for Everyone" displays an evolution in the group’s 40-year history. However, while they still depend on robotic rhythms, synthesizers and pop culture to create their soundtrack to a de-evolved society, they reinterpret the music of their absence, mixing classic Devo with the past 20 years of popular music.

From the combination of Nintendo-like midi synthesizer and blissful power pop choruses on “Mind Games” to “Human Rocket,” which indulges in top 40’s electronic drums, auto-tuning and bass drops, the band creates an interesting juxtaposition between Devo and contemporary culture. Best of all, it’s done with the same gusto for deconstruction they had on their first LP’s robotic version of the soulful Rolling Stones classic “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

In the end, Devo’s understanding of pop song writing is different from most--where a band like Weezer tries to incorporate various contradictory styles into one monstrosity, Devo recognizes them as co-existing equals. On “What We Do,” the band’s maestro, Mark Mothersbaugh explains, “What we do/Is what we do/Just different names/It’s what we do.” They understand the minor differences between the genres, so while they occasionally boarder on parody, Devo doesn’t use these modern techniques in a demeaning way, but rather to help accentuate their commentary on modern culture.

With songs that range from pop music’s past to its bass booming present, "Something for Everybody" truly has just that. Devo has an ability to make the most artificial music meaningful and the most meaningful music artificial as they hold onto their sense of humor as social commentators of modern life and the music that shapes it.

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  1. Hrushi said...

    Its not pop music right? Or is it? :O

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