Devo – Something For Everybody

Devo is back, sounding remarkably like they did back in the day (give or take a few advances in technology that showed up in recording studios in the intervening years), and this is one of the most welcome reunions I can think of in recent years. Because the secret to Devo wasn’t just their eccentric synth-heavy sound – it was that they applied that sound to some of the catchiest songs to come out of the ’70s and ’80s.

Something For Everyone brings the original lineup back together, and most of the material here, while brand new, sits comfortably alongside their classic output. One song toward the end of the album, “No Place Like Home”, is about the only song that shows any signs that anyone had even the slightest inclination to modernize the signature Devo sound. Everything else is instant classic Devo.

Highlights include “Mind Games” (which explores another vintage ’80s sound with some quasi-chiptune elements), “Sumthing” (which tackles some clearly modern topics with its lyrics), and a new Devo anthem, “Later Is Now”. These songs – well, just about all of the songs on Something For Everyone – are as catchy as Devo’s ’80s favorites, without being slavish imitations of the material that the group has already done. It’s just about what they used to call “an album full of singles”. If there’s a low point, it’s the goofy spy spoof tune “Cameo”… and even then, it’s not that bad, just not up to the standard of the rest of the material.

If you’ve ever listened to a band get back together and then wondered “What happened to the sound I loved?”, Something For 4 out of 4
is proof that not every reunion is doomed to play out like that. Fortunately for Devo fans of old (or anyone who likes a catchy tune, for that matter), the New Traditionalists are back on the case. Given that it sometimes seems like the band’s old mantra of “devolution” seems to have come to pass in many parts of society, one wonders how we ever got by without them.

Order this CD

  1. Fresh (2:59)
  2. What We Do (3:17)
  3. Please Baby Please (2:41)
  4. Don’t Shoot (I’m A Man) (3:26)
  5. Mind Games (2:30)
  6. Human Rocket (3:22)
  7. Sumthin’ (2:46)
  8. Step Up (3:00)
  9. Cameo (2:49)
  10. Later Is Now (3:52)
  11. No Place Like Home (3:18)
  12. March On (3:50)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 2010
Total running time: 37:50