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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo

Devo

1978

Wikipedia

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo

Rating

3.03

Votes

3240

Reviews

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5

Produced by Brian Eno, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was a seminal touchstone in the development of American new wave. It was one of the first pop albums to use synthesizers as an important textural element, and although they mostly play a supporting role in this guitar-driven set, the innovation began to lay the groundwork for the synth-pop explosion that would follow very shortly. It also doesn't hurt that this is arguably Devo's strongest set of material, though several brilliant peaks can overshadow the remainder. Of those peaks, the most definitive are the de-evolution manifesto "Jocko Homo" (one of the extremely few rock anthems written in 7/8 time) and a wicked deconstruction of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which reworks the original's alienation into a spastic freak-out that's nearly unrecognizable. But Q: Are We Not Men? also had a conceptual unity that bolstered the consistent songwriting, making it an essential document of one of new wave's most influential bands.

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1

What a waste of time and energy. Why this is on the list, I have no idea but it needs to be removed. It's just utter shit.

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3

Where is "Whip It"

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5

Probably got the fifth star because I listened while going for a run and it helped me along

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5

So nice I listed to it twice. It's only 35 minutes long. I had this, on vinyl. In 1980. Maybe even earlier.

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5

Great satire delivered in solid music

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4

Super fun and energetic. Could see most of these songs being in a movie soundtrack.

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4

Dug it. Dug it good.

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4

This album kicks ass. 70s pop-punk with fat riffs and some ethereal 80s sounds that were clearly ahead of their time.

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4

But Q: Are We Not Men? also had a conceptual unity that bolstered the consistent songwriting, making it an essential document of one of new wave's most influential bands.

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2

invested 34 minutes during my morning ablutions to discover i do not like Devo. that talk-singing with shitty surf rock riffs doesnt do it for me. i cant believe i listened to the whole thing

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1

Starts with the fucking Devo guy singing "yeah, yuh-yuh-yeah yeah yeah!" over and over, moves on to the least essential Rolling Stones cover in history, and somehow goes downhill from there. All of the thumbs down. Best track: Space Junk

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5

Great album! It was like a crazy mix of the ramones and the beach boys

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4

For me, listening to this album for the first time all the way through was a bit like discovering as a kid that your dad cheats on his taxes or keeps porno mags under the bed, in other words that he's a not a superhero, but just a regular flawed human being. The problem is, I've had Devo's greatest hits collection for a decade or so and I guess a part of me was expecting that kind of unabashed brilliance from their debut album. Completely unfair. Most of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is merely very good rather than brilliant. One nice surprise is that, even though the songwriting isn't for the most part at the level of masterpieces like Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy or Jocko Homo, the production completely slaps. For a pop album, QAWNMWAD easily boasts the most well thought out synth patches of 1978. Yes, getting an appropriate synth sound is easier when your stock in trade is satire, like Devo, or tongue in cheek pop deconstruction, like The Cars, but the range of decent synth sounds on QAWNMWAD is impressive nonetheless. I suspect a lot of that is producer Brian Eno's doing. He also does a beautiful job of balancing the various elements of Devo's sound. The guitars are crisp and the vocals have just the right amount of echo and reverb. I love the way the bass is processed on Mongoloid, with a clean, springy sound up front with almost imperceptible tweaks that create depth. Eno's production manages to be both immediate and deep. You can elect to groove along on the surface, but there's a lot going on in these tracks if you care to drill down. Another thing I gained an appreciation for is the basic musicianship of the band, which is apparent even in the lesser tracks. Drummer Alan Myers is the glue that holds the band together. His big robotic beats are a major part of Devo's sound, and he handles the tricky time signatures and section shifts with aplomb. Singer Mark Mothersbaugh is a maniac--I love his phrasing and energy, which never flags. It's not easy to do full on satire and rock out at the same time. But what about the songs themselves? Well, most of the compositions, like Come Back Jonee, are built on short snippets with layered, interlocking rhythms. Much of the interest comes in these tunes comes from the performances, the arrangements, the production touches, and the amusing and thoughtful lyrics, which is admittedly far from nothing. But these songs feel like an additional section or two or some twist would have pushed them into classic territory. The one discovery here is Too Much Paranoias, which is possibly just as nuts as Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy although a lot less commercial. Yes, it's built on one riff, but the melody is practically atonal, and there's that improvised bridge in the middle of the tune. Pure insanity, in a good way. I dunno. Yes, Devo's style is unique and a lot of fun. The playing, production, and arrangements are first rate. And there are a handful of outright classics on this album. But I can't give this a 5/5 because of there are just too many songs that feel like underachievers.

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4

Q. What does SHACK eat for breakfast? A. Lamb chops.

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4

dunno if i'm a man or devo any more.

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4

This is very much music of its era, the late 70s where electronic music and synthesisers were becoming quite common. Music was changing,to me this wss the foundation of the 80s pop sound. There are similarities with Talking Heads. This is fun, humerous music and less confrontational than the contemporary punk sound coming from the Clash, the Pistols and Iggy Pop. it is fun to listento, but sounds very 70s

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5

Nice discoverment

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5

Yezaa

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5

New wave that sounds like something new, and not Duran Duran or whatever. There’s an energy here that is really infectious to listen to, exciting. Their cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” sounds like it should have been their song, not the Stones’. Favourite track: “Jocko Homo.”

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5

5/5 - well that was unexpected! Off to Dead Kennedy's and Sex Pistols now

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5

The moment the first song started I knew I would like this album. The take on "Can't get no satisfaction" is interesting, but for me one of the weakest tracks on the album.

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5

Seminal …. Fruits all through the 80s and beyond … with Devo and Dave Byrne/talking heads … Something was brewing

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5

Such manic oddball fun. Overseen by Bowie and Eno in Conny Plank's studio near Cologne so it comes with some serious avant-pop pedigree. I really like their "dehumanized" approach and the bizarre concept they have going. Probably the best album of their career, hitting a home run right off the bat. Certainly among the greatest things that ever came out of Ohio.

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5

10/10 I love new wave

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5

Strong hat game.

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5

What a great album . I remember watching them play Satisfaction on SNL and not knowing what to think. Now I just think they're brilliant and ahead of their time. 5 🌟

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5

Like listening to a blueprint of what was to come in 1980s.

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5

Yuss!

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5

Killer

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5

Classic! What's not to like?

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5

A great album. It's absolutely criminal that many people see Devo as nothing more than a "one hit wonder". I'd probably give it a 4 for my enjoyment and an additional star for its influence and my assumption that others have probably given this too low of a score.

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4

Devo sure is weird. Glad I listened the Frankenstein-like cut of the album + six live tracks + three B-sides as listed on Spotify. That meant I got Whip It again. Wild that "Mongoloid" doesn't cause more Discourse.

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4

Wonderfully odd, and a precursor to an onslaught of ska and new wave sounds. I don't have a good reason to like it, since the vocals are absolutely the type I despise, but it works for me in this combo. Still, this isn't an album I would reach for as readily as the other 5-stars, so 4 stars it is!

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4

A very curious album with sounds that probably had never been heard before. Very cool

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4

poop

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4

Real fuckjng good!

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4

Devo is weird but I like it.

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4

Maybe the only Talking Heads rip-off band worth a damn

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4

This is a solid album! The music is great, the concepts are wild -- it's all around a good/interesting listen.

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4

Devo is a one-of-a-kind band. Though they weren't quite coneheads yet, you could sense their weird nerd-iness and quirky delivery through many of their songs. The album starts with a banger and follows up with a cover that rivals the original. Devo rules at playing their songs in their little oddball world. Not ever song is a winner but this album is an undeniable new wave cornerstone. We Are DEVO!

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4

Finest band in plastic flowerpot hats ever. Really great album.

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4

So rad.

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4

Great!

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4

Quirky, nerdy, urgent and paranoid post punk/new wave/surf rock with tons of humor and satire. Weird, but in that good way.

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4

It was alright. Kind of punk-ish

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4

Too much paranoias is a track that fits in perfectly with what alternative rock would become in the 90’s. Gut feeling is a bop

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4

DEVO isn’t really my jam, but the album was good enough 🤷🏻‍♂️

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4

Have to like it as an akronite.

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4

Album cover and name are an easy 5*, Songs are good weird Devo tracks so only makes it to a 4 overall

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4

Groovy tunes. Very fun to bop to.

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4

4.4 + The album that proves that Devo isn't just an oddball sideshow act. It's raucous, manic and catchy from jump, full of jagged edges and jangly surprises. The sound is a blend of Talking Heads and Kraftwerk, with the sneering irony of punk rock. \"Mongoloid\" is an absolute banger. A good album to play when you're over-caffeinated and needing to crank out some annoying tasks.

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4

4.5

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4

All the familiar and obscure-ness.

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4

I remember seeing the video for Satisfaction back in the day, with the sawn-off guitars and weird vocals, I was hooked. Not recommended for fans of .38 Special, just sayin'

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4

I'd forgotten how punky this album was! Jittery, flinchy and angular with a very perverse sense of humour. You couldn't get away with calling a track Mongoloid today, but kudos for using the quantum term 'superposition' in a lyric.

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4

What a fun listen

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4

Classic Jams. Much better than I expected.

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4

Hard to imagine the shock this would have had on release. Still utterly bonkers in places, the best ever Satisfaction cover, and in Mongoloid a song that could never have been written today (I remember the lyrics being printed in Smash Hits). Only not a 5 as one too many song follows the same template.

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4

Classic. Impossible to not love

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4

So easy to only think of Whip It when you hear Devo. Enjoyed this album and it's fast raw sound. Reminded me of early Talking Heads at some points which would have been contemporary to this album's release.

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4

I absolutely love the insanity of this Album.

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4

Early new wave sound still very much influenced by punk. I heard a lot of the Kinks in this album. I enjoyed the strange lyrical content and the playfulness with rhythms. Overall not a bad album. I can definitely see how this links to later new wave and post punk sounds

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4

Serves well to remember this is an amazing album - avant garde and still relevant. I forgot - I had devolved - now I remember.

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4

A fun romp with the zany introduction to devo. Favorites: "Uncontrollable Urge", "(I Can't Get No) Satisfsction", "Gut Feeling / (Slap Your Mammy)"

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4

Great, top-to-bottom!

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4

Devo is nuts, love em forever

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4

NERRRRRRRDS

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4

Great album. Are We Not Men? Stradles that punk / post-punk / new wave perfectly. As a bonus, the only non-Devo song written by the band, The Rolling Stones (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction is a great example of taking an original and putting your spin on it. 4/10

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3

Again the author just showing his love for goofy late 70s rock, but at least Devo is catchy. There are a few jokey nonsense tracks on here but also enough good shit that it wasn't TOTALLY annoying. 3/5.

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3

Very ...peculiar. nice but not too much

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3

6/10

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3

Oh the punk before the punk

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3

It was ok. I really didnt care for the satisfaction cover but the rest was not terrible. Not my thing.

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3

This morning I'm listening to Devo and their album "Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!" recorded in 1978. I want to like this band a lot more than I actually do. I enjoyed the first track - Uncontrollable Urge, and the 2nd track I know from my own listening or maybe heard it in a movie - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. Which takes a song by the Stones I've heard a million times and makes it interesting again. There are plenty of interesting moments on this album, but it's not something I would put into rotation or come back to. Uncontrollable Urge might make it to my 'best of 1001' playlist. I love everything about this group, their name, and the all around general existence of this remarkable band. But I'm not sure this album is cohesive enough to really amount to something great.

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3

Pretty, pretty cool.

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3

Insane 80s

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3

Weird and electronic and wacky. I like a the juice mostly. Didn't realize the Life Aquatic song was Gut Feeling. Two good songs (Uncontrollable Urge and Gut Feeling). A few fun songs (Space Junk, Satisfaction). A handful of songs that were not for me...3.5

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3

It’s fun at times but would serve itself better in a live setting versus a listening experience.

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3

1978, new Wave, Art Rock, Post punk, stabil

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3

Pretty weird new-wave album with elements of art rock. Tracks are consistent but lack a strong connection or theme, 6/10.

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3

Fun album from New Wavers Devo. Known mainly for their mega hit “Whip It” the band is so much more than that. They are one of the bands I think of when I hear the term “Art Rock”. They were clever in their theme and message they created as a group. I enjoyed “Uncontrollable Urge” and the cheeky song “Praying Hands” about masturbation juxtaposed to religion. Some real fun songs overall and out of 10 I would give it a 7.3

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3

Inicios del punk. Raruno.

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3

false

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3

This is kinda like David Byrne if he got his hole once in a while but not too often because he's still David Byrne

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3

"You got both hands You got praying hands They pray for no man O.k, relax" (Praying hands) "Think I got a big mac attack Hold the pickles hold the lettuce" (Too much paranoias) Meh.

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3

Heard this kind of recently for the first time, pretty fun overall (3.5).

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3

Uistinu jedan od kultnijih albuma koji meni nije toliko sjeo, mada je sasvim dobar.

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3

Messy, im not sure if i liket or i hate it

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3

Good album. Enjoyed the different style.

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3

D. E. V. O

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3

this is weird man. funny hats tho

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3

It's alright

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3

3

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3

Bit whacky

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3

weird and interesting especially for the time. Respect what it led to creatively, but aside from a few songs, not for me.

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3

Rating: 5/10

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3

Good album. A bit cheesy.

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3

Niet al te speciaal, maar wel opgewekte muziek

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3

Likeable, interesting cover of Satisfaction

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3

First song is alright Bad I can't get no satisfaction cover

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3

It’s okay.

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3

I liked it.

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3

Divertido!

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3

Annoying but in a more endearing way. 5/10

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3

5/10 obnoxious but not altogether bad

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3

A previously dismissed band by myself due to tge crap tgey produced in the 90’s, pleasantly surprised by this.

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3

I want to like Devo more than I do, I appreciate the schtick but the execution doesn't do much for me.

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3

I want to like Devo more than I do, I just have trouble getting into them.

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3

Mostly fun!

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3

The misadventures of a scout leader and a group of cubs that is strictly off the record. Nothing happened here. They simply went camping.

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3

Please send help.

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3

I want to like DEVO; new wave sounds, angular guitars and synths, arty and strange aesthetic, willfully esoteric, but I think I can only deal with half of these songs. As usual, I'm put off by the bleated vocals, a style I can never get behind. As usual, the hits work for me, the rest, less so.

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3

Yep, Devo is Devo. Never listened to a whole album but didn't disappoint. Quirky, minimal, affected. It's a vibe, but not one I see myself embracing very frequently.

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3

Like Talking Heads, these guys just miss the mark with me.

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3

this is just discount talking heads lol

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3

I feel like I was meant to love this but I found it just okay. I can't explain it, but it felt somewhat smug to me?

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3

Pretty revolutionary at the time. Saw them at Knebworth supporting Genesis of all bands. They certainly stood out with their white boiler suits and orange hats.

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3

Rien d’extraordinaire et pas le genre d’album que j’aurais pense produit lar eno. Cest de la,punk adoucit. 3

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3

I could've sworn I've had this one already

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3

Not my bag

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3

Devo at the beginning were much different than the Devo the world came to know. This is a fun and bare album with plenty of good times.

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3

I've always been more of an Oingo Boingo fan than a Devo fan, but having now heard this Devo debut, I am really struck by how similar their first albums are. I can see how people dismissed Boingo as a Devo knockoff at first. This whole album is a lot of fun, and makes me want to dive into more Devo beyond just their biggest hit.

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3

Odd punk-like stuff with a rolling stones cover. Not my thing, but I've heard worse.

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3

a ta

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2

Højt tempo, new wave punk rock, alternativt, nyskabende

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2

I fail to see many positive things about this album and kind of music

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2

Cute... soll vermutlich witzig sein. Ist leider nicht meine Motivation Musik zu hören. Instrumental gar nicht so schlecht, aber der „Gesang“ schwankt zwischen nervig und anstrengend.

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2

I hated this at the start it gave me a headache. How many of these are covers? Lots of it sounds like bad Talking Heads. I convinced myself that this was good by the middle but then I was so happy when it ended. Soo bawlz indeed

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2

@@. weird stuff, two okay tracks.

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2

Not sure about this one. I'm aware of devo, how avantr Garde they were, amazing look and distinctive sound especially for the time. But not for me. Gave it 15 minutes, the songs were so samey.

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2

This nerd rock group's titles didn't age well, but a few good songs.

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2

Not a fan of this one. It's quite weird and I have to admit that this is probably a kind of album that would grow on me with multiple listens... which I'm currently not willing to give it.

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2

Niet echt fan van new wave, maar uncontrollable urge is wel een fijn deuntje

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2

Noah’s fence but idk if I would actually call this ✨music✨

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2

false

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2

Not really my kind of punk

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2

It's funny because one day before this album I listened to something from "New Order" expecting something like this Devo album and found that I didn't know New Order very well. I didn't know Devo so well too, but my expectations were all achieved and these expectations were an album with a lot of synth-rock without much meaning....well that's not men, It's Devo. The Wikipedia link was interesting.

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2

Pierwszy DEVOWY albumik, calego nie slyszalem wczesniej, a jedynie slyszalem kilka trakow, bardzooooo nev wavowy sound, za ktorego sukcesem komercyjnym byly w szczegolnosci nazwiska za plecami bandy, bo rekomendacje Bowiego i Brajanka Eno juz same w sobie stanowia o tym, ze ktos tego poslucha, pierwsze skojarzenie jakie przychodzi do glowy, to prototypowy remain in the light of gadajacych glow, podobny koncept punkowatosci owinietej w nowa fale licznymi synthami, na tym materiale az dajacymi po uszach, lirycznie prowokacyjnie o dalnach, religiach, smieciach, coonsumerowanie i kapitalizowanie i powrot do monke, przy czym tworza swoj weird wizerunek wystepujac w skafandach guglach i innych akcesoriach dziwnosci kosmiczno szambowej co nadaje im nerdowego imidzu, o ile lirycznie jest dosc roznorodnie, to melodie sa praktycznie na jedno koptyo zmasakrowane wszechobecnymi dzwiekami synthow, z tego wyczytalem to brajan wlasnie sforsowal taki pompowanie w syntha, bo z bowim mieli wizje bandy przyszlosci i chyba troche w tym racji, bo stuff bowiego z poznych 80/90 melodycznie dosc przypomina to co tutaj sie wyprawia, poza orginalnymi kompozycjami pojawia sie tu takze cover rolujacych kamieni, czyli i cant get me no satisfaction, na plejce mialem juz otwierajacy kawalek uncontrollable urge, dodam jeszcze too much paranoias, najbardziej talking headowy trak albumiku, najbardziej wnerwiajaca rzecza tutaj jest mix wokalow, ktory brzmi jakby byl spiewany z glebi wanny, ale to jest pan brajan eno dla ciebie, czy to u2 czy headsy zawsze musi zastosowac ten efekt

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2

Listened to it twice and it annoyed me both times.

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2

Slick band, but titles and themes haven't aged well

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2

New wave. It's good, but gimme some Idoli instead.

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2

Shite

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2

there is a specific time and place for this and only then will it be a bop

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2

Q: What did Bowie and Eno get up to between \"Heroes\" and Lodger? A: Not much, apparently

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2

Quirky and fun. Will probably not listen again though.

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2

Meh

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2

3/10. Did not enjoy. Sounded about as bad as The Dictators, but without the tinges of humor.

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2

Punk når der er værst... Ikke mange numre som er værd at genlytte. Slet ikke noget for mig

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2

Ehhhhhhh not really my speed.

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2

Not for me really.

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2

I’m not into Devo

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2

An incredibly unique album. Pretty hard to compare it to anything else. Felt like it was a precursor to the 80s style. However, None of the songs really stood out. 4.4/10

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2

Ehhhhhh

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2

Lo: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Jocko Homo Possibly my mood, but I couldn't get into this one. Guess I don't like Devo as much as I thought I did.

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2

Not the Devo I was thinking of. What a shame. Anyone remember the guy who used to volley dead pigeons round the high street while singing about kicking someone’s girlfriends head in? He’s a bit like morrissey but way more poetic. This was shit though but I’m grateful it reminded of that little scamp so I’ll give it a 2

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2

I have always liked Devo, even though I didn't really "get" them when I was a kid. I liked the flowerpot hats and of course you couldn't get away from Whip It. Later I came to understand the commentary they are making on society, which makes Satisfaction doubly fun. That said, it is also the case that DEVO is best in small doses. Listening to a whole album at once is a bit much.

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2

Ich habe heute einen meiner seltenen zu kritikfreien Tage, daher noch 2 Sterne. Niemals mehr, der zu stark an David Byrne erinnernde Histrionengesang und die einfallslosen Songstrukturen geben nicht mehr her. Und schon ist es doch noch ein Verriss geworden. Welt ist in Ordnung.

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2

I don't like being shouted at. "Gut Feeling" was good.

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2

You can tell that they were trying to do something different, but it just didn't impress me

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2

This is the new wave band Devo's debut album. Reviews were mixed at release, but have been more positive over the years. The early reviews were probably less positive because new wave music was still "new" and rubbed some critics the wrong way. This album has now been called a cornerstone of new wave music in America. And the album has been certified gold in the US. This novel music is catchy, comical, but impersonal and leads nowhere. It's best listened to in the background, and one shouldn't try to pull meaning from it too much. I liked some of the songs, but will not seek out more Devo music.

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2

A bit corny, but decent.

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2

Not my type tbh but I respect it

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1

1.5

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1

Rotete

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1

La verdad es que dos estrellas ya se me haría mucho.

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1

Nomás por destrozar I can't get no satisfaction.

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1

nope

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1

Why would I listen to DEVO when I can listen to Oingo Boingo? Any track off of Dead Man's Party or Only A Lad is miles ahead of this. The only good DEVO songs are on Freedom Of Choice anyways.

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1

Getting to the end of this album was a labor. Will actively avoid listening to any part of this album ever again

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1

This has got to be the most repetitive albums of all time. It's like it was designed to make me irritated. They repeat the same 4 words per song and there is no progression in the backing track, only a constant tune played over and over and over again. Thankfully most songs are less than 3 minutes, a testament to how vapid this album is.

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1

Agradable muy depeche o talking heads etc irrumpidor del pop, nada muy destacable

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1

отстой полный

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1

Man, this album was obnoxious.

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1

I gave up at the beginning of the sixth track, having finished only the first one. I'm really not sure what they tried to accomplish with this album, or why people would like it. I can see that not taking themselves seriously is part of their whole thing and also how the approach to music was something new and maybe even interesting at the time. Their approach to songwriting and structuring may have been influential for later new wave and alternativ bands. But it just sounds godawful. It seems entirely soulless and devoid of any emotion or really anything that makes me want to hear any of it.

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1

Really couldn't get into this album at all

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1

No words

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1

I thought I would like this album but I did not. I think it's just where I am in life - the quirky paranoia new wave just isn't where I'm at right now. Full respect to Devo though - maybe when I was 18 it might have struck the right chord, I could easily imagine that. But I am now in the demographic where I'd rather listen to the episode of 99% Invisible that discusses the story behind the album art than listen to the album itself.

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1

so bad

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1

It's a feat to be as consistently obnoxious as this album. Judging people by their music taste is a stupid thing to do, but I genuinely don't understand why this would ever be on a list of "albums you must hear before you die".

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1

Uhhhhh. Why is this even a thing? “Satisfaction” was wayyyyy too forced and when you have to force satisfaction on someone, it just ain’t it. and Mongoloid made me vomit up my ☕️ Let’s just pretend this album doesn’t exist, k?

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1

talking heads with an ironic adult daycare aesthetic. the sonic equivalent of drinking a cup of warm gravy: an absurd concept that's unpleasant to get through.

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1

This album belonged in the 80s. I don’t mean that as a compliment. Truly the worst cover of (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction ever.

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1

This was something else, and not in a good way. The lyrics were terrible.

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CLASSIC.

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