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

The Modern Lovers

The Modern Lovers

1976

The Modern Lovers

Album Summary

The Modern Lovers is the debut studio album by American rock band the Modern Lovers. It was released on Beserkley Records in 1976, although the original nine tracks had been recorded in 1972 (or 1971 in the case of "Hospital"). Six of the original tracks were produced by John Cale. In 2003, the album was ranked number 381 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, 382 in 2012, and 288 in 2020.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.14

Votes

4052

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Punk
Reviews
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1

This is probably the worst album I've ever listened to in recent memory. The vocals are like a drunk / strung out Jim Morrison, just slurring his words and not giving a shit. It was like a train wreck in slow motion. I have no original thoughts about this album, but neither did the artist when they were making it. I'm angry I spent almost an hour listening to this trash. A dumpster filled with the days expired produce on fire could make better music than this nightmare. Just unoriginal, uninspired, gutter trash. I could make a poop that would sound better than this. Fuck. Fuck these guys. Fuck whoever put this shit on this list.

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4

I loved Jonathan Richman's interviews in Todd Haynes' Velvet Underground documentary (what a sweet man) and I've only read raves about Joshua Clover's new book, 'Roadrunner'--all about the opener on this album--so I was thrilled when this came up. Roadrunner is great, driving its way around the rock 'n' roll ring road, and picking up a hitchiking Mathangi Arulpragasam on the way. Understandably, it'll take more than one listen for me to feel like it's worth writing a book about. Richman's drawl isn't exactly fetching, but it's so unaffected that it's impossible not to like. Like hero Lou, his songs appear to hinge on arty-cum-straightforward lyrics but are actually driven by his lead guitar. By the time it finishes, he's introduced you to a peculiar set of charaters inhabiting an unusual sonic world, all without appearing to do much heavy lifting. Special.

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1

Really?

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5

Oh my joy at having this album come up today! One of my faves of that era. They had all the energy and attitude of other proto punk bands, but with real humor and heart. "Road Runner," full volume, heading down the road. It doesn't get any better.

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5

Loved every second of this. Like something off the Nuggets compilation but somehow even more guileless than those offerings. The product of an utterly eccentric mind, and all the better for it.

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5

I love Jonathan Richman's heart on his sleeve honesty and directness. He is like an anti-rockstar and yet things like Roadrunner epitomize rock and roll to me. He's so comfortable with who he is and just putting it out there. Really brave, and to me, relatable. Some of these tracks were recorded in 1971! They're like The Stooges' sensitive, goofier little brothers. Ahead of their time. 5 stars for Roadrunner alone but 5 stars for all of it.

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4

Proto-punk that sounds a lot like the Doors meets the Clash, except doesn't overplay the keys. Roadrunner and Pablo Picasso are big highlights; this album is right up my street, and it was no surprise when I learned two of the members were also in the Cars and the Talking Heads.

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2

Kind of bland, very indebted to The Velvet Underground. It's not bad, I'm just not really sure why it's here. Nothing really stuck out to me too boldly. Favorite track: "Modern World"

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2

Eh bah franchement pas incroyable. Robert déçoit une énième fois avec ses propositions d'albums de plus en plus discutables.

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2

This sounds like an amateur band that I could go see in the local pub. Not bad, but not good either.

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1

I'm pretty sure Pablo Picasso was an asshole. Sounds like someone doing karaoke to The Doors. It's worth noting the talented keyboardist and drummer took their talents to more successful outfits. Jonathan Richman might have knelt at the altar of Lou Reed, but he's the poor person's Lou Reed. "Roadrunner" is a great song, but not the version that opens this album (the Sex Pistols cover is what makes it a classic). Richman should stick to making pizza ovens. The more I think about this album, the more it bothers me because it's not bad, per se. But it's so impossibly overrated, and it just sort of loiters and eventually gnaws.

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5

I love this album. First heard Pablo Picasso on college radio 10ish years ago and immediately thought - "What is this??" Since then, the album has become a favorite - love all of the Boston references, storytelling, etc. Favorite songs are Pablo Picasso, Hospital, I Wanna Sleep in Your Arms, Old World (but really love all of them)

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5

Unbelievable 70s album with direct correlation to the 90 indie scene.

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5

Why do I love this so much? Partially because it's good, but ya know, these songs are pretty repetitive and they go on for a bit, two things that usually repel me. But I just love this album. I love it!

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5

It's brilliant, exactly the kind of music I love. A magical blend of rock/punk energies and wry self-deprecating earnestness. I love the absurdist yet heartfelt lyrics and effortless cool layered into every track.

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5

Amazing. Developing the velvets sound to another level. Peak indie before indie existed.

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4

An amazing cross between Doors-style rock and proto-punk

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4

Crap. Didn’t get a chance to listen to this today, but based on that cover art and having the word “modern” in the name I’m gonna say… solid four stars. Don’t let me down album I didn’t listen to!

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2

Back in 1995, me and some friends would jam in an upstairs room. It was always some variation of a fast 12-bar blues, and one of us would latch on to some phrase and improvise lyrics. The difference is, we new the improv was bad and would throw it away. Not these guys, they actually committed their repetitive improv lyrics to vinyl over some variation of surf rock. Everything is at the same tempo (except for 2 songs that are at the same slow tempo) which makes it a very repetitive listen. "Roadrunner" is fun, but the fun wears off quickly. For good seminal proto-punk I'd rather listen to the MC5.

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2

At the time I'd have given it four stars. Couldn't say why now though!

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1

I cannot see myself listening to this again nor recommending it to anyone in future.

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1

I found this hard going. Had to stop 4 times and go back to it in order to finish. Meandering, turgid, I really don't understand the appeal of any of this. Not for me.

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1

Alternative, what I imagine 1976 emo angst driven teenager would have listened to. Probably one of the first of it's kind, which is cool. But overall forgettable and boring to me.

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1

Repetitive and boring lyrics, instruments are meh

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1

Kind of like the Strokes meets the Rolling Stones, but less appealing than it sounds. Lyrics/vocals are weak, and I'm not getting any of the innovation I would expect from an album appearing on this list. Some of the guitar work is decent, but that's about it. 1.5/5. NOTE: just looked up the album and saw that it was unreleased for years before coming out in 1976 and that I listened to an extended version of the album. Not sure what the big deal behind this one is.

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1

No. Nope. nononono. At first I thought the music wasn't terrible in a low-rent Elvis Costello kinda way, something I'd be ok with hearing a band playing at a pub but me not paying 100% attention or having paid a large cover for. Unfortunately before the first song ended I really wanted to leave the bar. But I couldn't because I'm not in a bar, I'm at home listening. I'M TRAPPED! SEND HELP. "Hospital" makes me want to check into one. JFC. I think what frustrates me about music like this isn't at all that people like it - hell, listen to 35 minutes of someone banging on a pipe and screaming that's fine who cares. It's that something like this makes a list of 1001 albums you must listen to rather than 1001 albums that, well, only a few people and their roommates might like and you *might* enjoy it but it's really not anything groundbreaking (there I go being subjective again). But no - critics love this shit *and* enjoyed deriding other acts for being too complex. That's the part that frosts me a bit. Oh look! John Cale produced it - what a surprise. Jonathan Richman has the vocal range of a walrus high jumping. Apologies to the walrus who is undoubtedly trying their best. <inner voice: Stop pussy-footing around, this is your review dammit!> Holy hell this is one of the worst things I've ever heard. I hate this. 1/10 1 star.

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5

I really REALLY enjoyed this album. The very best of protopunk, you can hear the seeds of the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Violent Femmes, and more. Loved it. Full marks.

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5

love this

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5

Classic

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5

Totally dug this. Proto punk is definitely my thing.

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5

Good stuff

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5

Good album. Would fit very well as music in the car I feel.

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5

Loved it, a fun listen

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5

Never heard of them but I loved it.

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5

Brill! Also I am under such pressure from Luke to give this 5 stars as apparently its one of the best rock albums of all time. Trivia from Luke: "the whole album is fantastic, its one of my faves ever. all brilliant songs, i cant pick between them and i love jonathan richman's voice. FUN FACT - they had actually split up when this was released and it's a collection of demos. the singer created a new band which was quite different and confusingly called them jonathan richman & the modern lovers and released an album at the same time. oh and one of them joined talking heads!"

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5

Giving off some Doors vibes

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5

4.5 | No solo como influencia del punk sino como un gran disco de art rock que no le da miedo dejarse llevar para bien o mal sacando todo lo que tengan dentro sin importar si tiene sentido y terminando en letras brillantes e interesantes. Crudo, emocional, fuera de la norma... Rock. No es proto-punk... Al igual que en cosas como los Stooges, los New York Dolls o Velvet Underground, no había precedentes de lo que estaban haciendo, ni tampoco una gran intención declarada detrás de ello. The Modern Lovers, como esas otras bandas, eran ante todo una banda de rock. Tocaban rock'n'roll. Cómo otros los definieron estaba fuera de sus manos. Disco poco conocido fuertísimo, importante y excelente.

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5

Great stuff

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5

heartfelt, simple, direct rock and roll that draws from the Velvet Underground but makes its own world.

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5

One of my favorite albums of the 70s. 9-10/10 1. Hospital 2. Astral Plane 3. Pablo Picasso

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5

This album for me is in the 9/10 ballpark or around 4.5 to 5 stars. the songs are all quite strong, with the highlights being hospital an incredible ballad with strong emotional presence behind it, roadrunner a high energy way to kick off the album. Pablo Picasso with a very unique premise centred around the artist with dry wit throughout the song.

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5

1/31/2022

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5

I saw Jonathan Richman play live a few years ago and I can't really explain it but I just felt so happy during and after the show, I really did have the proverbial warm, fuzzy feeling. I guess what I'm saying is I love this album.

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5

This album is truly amazing. I rarely fall in love with an album after the first listen but it will be an instant classic for me going forward. I already added it to my playlist. The lyrics throughout the album are beautiful but Hospital is my favorite

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5

This was an album that I had to check the Wikipedia for to try and figure out why it was on the list. I just didn't get it at first. However, the longer it went on the more I liked it. 'Hospital' is where it started to turn around for me, and I think the album shines especially bright in its quieter moments. By the end I was actually wanting more, which is a complete 180 from where I was when I started listening.

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5

Truly a classic record that introduced the world to Jonathan Richman. This version of the Modern Lovers was much different than Richman's later incarnations of the Modern Lovers, almost a one-off that rocked harder than anything Richman would ever release. Much more of a band-format, this debut album featured future members of the Talking Heads (Jerry Harrison) and the Cars (David Robinson). It's a very influential record and proto-punk classic, it has to be considered one of the great art rock albums!

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5

An amazing album and arguably on of the most influential releases of all time with it's pronto-punk weirdo genius. Even more amazing as it was nearly never released

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5

There's nothing I could say about this perfect album that hasn't already been said. And yes, Pablo Picasso might be the greatest song ever. That's all, folks!

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4

Proto punk, American that somehow sounds British.

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4

Classic Boston album. Probably enjoyed most "Hospital" and "Dance with me"

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4

Feels punk rock, but doesn't thrash, I really enjoyed this one.

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4

Ensikuuntelulla tästä jäi vähän sekavat fiilikset. Onneksi kuitenkin annoin vielä ensin yhden, ja lopulta varmaan noin viisi lisäkuuntelua paremmalla keskittymisellä. Tämähän olikin lopulta aivan hemmetin vangitsevaa tykittelyä. Eräs listan positiivisimmista yllätyksistä toistaiseksi. Vaikkei ihan viiden tähden kokonaisuus olekaan, niin varmasti lähempänä vitosta kuin kolmosta. Erityismaininnan ansaitsisi useampikin kappale mutta mieleen jäi varsinkin Hospital sekä David Bowien myöhemmin coveroima Pablo Picasso.

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4

well, this isn't fair, because jonathan richman is a bit of a hometown hero, and the state's favorite song appears on this album twice...but yeah, i liked it. strongly reminiscent, unsurprisingly, of the velvet underground, but still its own thing.

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4

Guay. Me recuerda a Evan Dando

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4

4.2 - Jonathan Richman manages to sound simultaneously too cool to care and utterly vulnerable with his chatty lyrics and endearing, slacker-y vocals. Extra points for putting suburban Massachusetts on the rock map! Standout tracks include “Roadrunner” and “I’m Straight.”

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4

the modern lovers are not very modern anymore but their loving is still strong. I shall besto up their album seven pablo picassos (not the asshole one but the other one)

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4

They were ahead of their time.

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4

I like this. Reminds me of the doors. Enjoyable.

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4

Not without merits but not my thing. Some decent songs but just couldn’t get to grips with the style. Favourite song-Hang down your head

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4

Echt gut... Bisschen weniger Punk als mc5

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4

An ancient album that is not boring?

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4

This is right up my street. The modern lovers bridge the gap between experiential 60s rock and 80s punk. This is a good piece of rock history.

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4

Cool Album!!

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4

Easy to listen to proto-punk. Nothing extraordinary.

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4

I liked this. Never heard of it but the seem cool. Forefathers of punk?

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4

I love this album and listen to it a lot. I wish I could give it a 4.5 because I can't give it 5. Not on the same level as 5 star albums

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4

No Post Punk without Proto Punk. Can hear how much influence this has had.

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4

Drummer for the Cars; bassist for Talking Heads. That’s a pretty fantastic evolution. How do I not know this band?

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4

Definitely sounded like hugely influenced by The Velvet Underground and from their Wiki that's definitely the case. However this does feel a bit more pessimism and ironic than The Velvet Underground. Some of the songs do absolutely nothing, but others like "Road Runner", "Pablos Picasso", and "Hospital" feel very nostalgic, maybe I've heard them or maybe I've just heard songs that have copped their style. "Dance With Me" is surprising that they were released with that much recording distortion, but that flaw in production is kind of my jam. The Jonathan Richman delivery is definitely the point of which you are too drunk to sing but god dammit you gotta do it anyways, which I mean I can respect. I like that there are only a few albums of the group, makes it feel a bit more transient. I'd be curious if I'd like Richman's solo stuff or if this combination of musicians had struck gold.

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4

I like the vibe, reminds me of Cream's "Sunshine of your Love". But no song struck me as really memorable... Except maybe for "Pablo Picasso", but that one didn't excite me much either.

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4

Embarrassingly, I'd never heard of them... but now very glad I have. Jangly, surfy, hippy fodder that was clearly the inspiration for a mid-to-late-noughties band I can't remember. Inevitably called 'The' something. For fuck's sake.

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4

Like a fun, poppier version of the Velvet Underground (a clear and direct influence on Richman). The classic songs are deadset classics (roadrunner, pablo picasso, she cracked). Obviously influential on many, many subsequent bands. One of the key proto-punk albums. Loose and energetic recording.

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4

This was a good listen. A lot of interesting guitar textures going on throughout the album. Favorite tracks: Roadrunner, Astral Plane, Pablo Picasso (I still can't figure out if he's really and asshole or not), Hospital and I'm Straight.

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4

This album got real, real fast.

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4

Liked it.

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4

Can’t believe I’ve only just found this album, it’s fantastic. The walking bass and organ combo is my jam. Velvet Underground with a bit of the doors thrown in. The lyrics and vocals get a bit repetitive and the songs are perhaps a tad too long, but the sound is so effortlessly cool. 4/5 - Loses momentum in the second half unfortunately, but it’s added to my collection.

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4

Solid album, feels like they are laying the groundwork for later punk

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4

Great, would listen again

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4

Well, there is a guy that played in TH later, so it has to be rated properly.

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4

V solid. Liked it a lot. Will pursue further.

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4

Never heard this before. VERY reminiscent of the doors, but also somehow presaging new wave punk from the 80s.

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4

4.5

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4

im straight.

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4

violent femmes/green day feel like

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4

7/10

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4

This album was great, I particularly liked Hospital. Will definitely be returning.

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4

I really like the sound of this one, but I can't pick out a lot of favorites from the tracklist. Still a solid listen. Favorite: Roadrunner

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4

Scrappy and lived in and cool

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4

Skeptical at first, but actually got really into it. Feels a bit like mumble rock :D

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4

I love this album to death the music, the humble smart style of Jonathan just amazing

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4

Will listen again for sure

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4

Best thing about this project is discovering gems like this. I've heard a couple of these songs before, but never listened to the whole album. It's a glorious mish-mash of Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, and a bunch of other proto-punk and early alternative stuff. Excellent. 4 stars.

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4

Quite liked a few of the songs

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4

Hospital is such an amazing song. This album generated a pretty amazing station with a lot of my favorites and a lot of what will be new favorites.

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4

Pretty good, catchy and varied, and before a lot of the things it sounds like (which shows its influence). Roadrunner, astral plane, and she cracked were my top tracks

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4

I don't really know what proto-punk is, since I absolutely hate punk and hated the last proto-punk album we've had as well. But I thought this one is actually pretty awesome. For a debut album it always sounds extremely confident and straight-lined. I should also add that the rating is based only on the 9 tracks of the original album. I also listened to two of the bonus tracks and those were 2 star songs at most. So I guess also kudos for knowing which tracks to include and which to exclude...

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4

Interesting

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4

Really interesting album, albeit slightly too long. I've heard Roadrunner before but couldn't have identified the band previously. Very cool sound. Hospital, with its erratic mismatched timing, is a very good song. Enjoyed this a lot

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4

Four stars An all-time classic, and an album which still holds its own many years after it was released. As is usually the case with those classic albums, I won't write a full-blown review here given that others have already written wonderful stuff about them and there's not much I can add that I feel could be relevant and interesting. "The Modern Lovers" is just a timeless gem for anyone who has even a remote interest in post Velvet-Underground rock, not to mention proto-punk, here recorded more than five years before the word " punk" reached our collective consciousness. Go and listen to it a.s.a.p. Number of albums left to review or just listen to:  more than 900, I've temporarily lost count here Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens:  approximately a third so far (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: another third Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): the last third Albums I might not be the best person to judge, but that I will probably include in my final list: 2. That, I remember.           

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4

Jonathan Richman borders

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4

Going faster miles an hour

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4

Muy buenos !! No los conocía !!!

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4

Очень похоже на творчество групп The Doors, The Velvet Underground, Talking Heads. Необычная музыка. Прикольная.

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4

Who ate all the pies? Who ate all the lies? The fat bastards will never find love in the dark. They will never be allowed. They will never be happy. Eat another pie, you fat bastard.

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4

Fuck Pablo Picasso, SHACK gets called an asshole all the time. i've started to listen to this album loads of times and very rarely get to the end. it falls off a cliff after pablo picasso, but there are a couple of belters early on.

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4

Rock despullat i cru però amb cançons imaginatives i honestes. Una llàstima que la banda no donés més de sí, perquè Richman en solitari mai s'ha apropat a l'aconseguit en aquest disc. 'Pablo Picasso', 'Roadrunner', 'Hospital', 'Modern World'... un molt estimulant conjunt de temes

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4

Folk Rocky vibe to it. Beginning of the album is extra good, falls off a but towards the end in my opinion. But overall good sound and good vocals

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4

Voice doesn't quite match the music. Lyrics are on the young side. Pleasantly surprising.

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4

I don't know why. But I love this band so much. Jonathan's voice is just odd. And great. I've listened to I'm straight for days on end. And know the lyrics by heart. Fantastic.

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4

Hard album to rate. In a vacuum, I would give it a 5 for being perfect at what it does, but when you compare it to other albums, I would say it rates below some of my high 4s. I suppose that makes it a 4 with the caveat that I don't think this album could have been made better. It is quintessential and perfect in its moment, but it is a "small" album. It doesn't have the ambition that would make it a 5 for me, great though it may be.

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4

An album to take you back in time. Pretty much a classic. The band should have been given an Iggy Pop and the......whatever they wanted to call themselves credit though. Theyre as much a part of it's success as Iggy.

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4

Garage proto punk

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4

Enjoyed. Roadrunner is a treat. proto punk fun

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4

John Richman’s carefree attitude and vocals mixed with proto-punk and at times even blues instrumentals make this album really ahead of its time. He paints a picture and tells a story with each song, bringing the listener along for the ride whether they want to or not. I especially love how they were indie before indie was even a thing and how you can already hear the beginnings of the “emo” and “angsty” sound that wouldn’t be popular until decades later. I like the subtle diversity in instrumentals , with Roadrunner being a classic rock n roll track, She Cracked being more punk and heavier at times, Hospital and Girlfriend with their almost R&B-Esque auras, and I’m Straight sounding very bluesy. I’d also like to note that he was everything you WOULDN’T expect a punk band to be almost rejecting the idea of being put in a specific box, the definition of real punk music. Talking about respecting women and not wanting to just bone random girls in Someone I Care About and admitting he’s sober and doesn’t care for smoking pot and doing drugs in “I’m Straight”??? I mean, this guy truly didn’t give a single fu*k about seeming “cool” and I can really respect that. Listened to: 07/8/22 Favorite Songs: Roadrunner, Pablo Picasso, She Cracked, Modern World

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4

Tykkäsin tästä kyllä, Roadrunner varsinkin todella kova biisi. Sanotaan 3.5, pyöristyy neloseen.

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4

Guay. Me recuerda a Evan Dando.4

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4

Shout out to my university friend Steven who put me on to Kurt Vonnegut and The Modern Lovers in the 90s. I've loved them ever since.

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4

A proto-punk 70's album, somewhere between 1960's The Doors and 1980's Black Flag. A good listen!

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3

Decent proto punk

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3

3

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3

Enjoyably, more so than velvet underground. Quite a distinct twang in the guitar sound which was nice

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3

I enjoyed this album. A lot of similarities with Velvet Underground and The Doors. Sleepy punk.

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3

@@@. A couple of nice songs, sometimes weird singing.

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3

Proto-punk, dat heb ik even opgezocht. Hier en daar wat gelijkenis met the Doors qua geluid en muziek, maar dan een tikkie anders. Zangstijl is kenmerkend, hou ik wel van. Roadrunner en Pablo Picasso (die kende ik al wel) springen eruit.

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3

decent

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3

this grew on me, was a lil drony but I liked the slow ones. pretty cool ‘hospital’ was so nice and sad. bit repetitive tho.

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3

This guy 'sing's like a true doucher, but the music is pretty good.

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3

I thought it was all right musically but a bit weird lyrically: kind of ironically awkward, but just enough to be uncomfortable. It might be an "important" album but I don't think it's enjoyable.

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3

Buen disco de pre-punk, pero sin excesos

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3

Not a great album or sound objectively speaking, but I enjoyed it subjectively as a cult classic and as an influence on the punk that I enjoy.

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3

Aikakautensa rokkia, kyllä tästä tulee jollain tasolla The Doors mieleen. Muutamia ihan meneviä kappaleitakin oli mukana, mutta aika tasapaksua tavaraa noin yleisesti. Esim Roadrunner ja Pablo Picasso jäivät mieleen.

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3

Enjoyed this, previously only knew Roadrunner. Tad too long maybe

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3

punk when there was not punk yet? velvet underground copied it?

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3

Another new band for me. Sounded surprisingly current for a 70s album.

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3

Das ist also Proto-Punk... ganz schön!

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3

Banda de rock totalmente desconocida por mí, pero que llevan el rollito de rock hablado más que cantado. Me recuerdan mucho a The Doors. Me han gustado.

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3

Not bad but not amazing.

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3

definitely hear the proto-punk sound. Overall not bad. Don't like the language on Pablo Picasso.

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3

Rockigere und saubere Version der Ramones

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3

Jedan od okejastijih albuma sedamdeset i šeste godine, pogotovo što album započinju sa jako dobrom stvari zvanom Roadrunner. Općenito album je dobar i živi do svoje ocjene koje joj je dano na rym.

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3

Irregular

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3

Wie Beat!Beat!Beat!

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3

Surprised I haven’t heard of them before. Early punk. Can definitely see how much of an influence they had on later bands like the cramps.

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3

Rocky. Fun. Like “Pablo Picasso” and “Girlfriend”

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3

Funny punk rock sound. Hard to believe it’s from the 70s

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3

Little cheesy lyrics 3/5

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3

Lead singer vocals and organ reminiscent of doors, enjoyed the variety of pace and sound in their tracks, boston references, and quirky awkward dating lyrics.

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3

Fun album if nothing really spectacular to me. I dig the vocalist's style. Reminds me of some modern post-rock.

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3

another fine but forgettable 3

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3

Many different sounds and great exploration of punk rock

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3

The Modern Lovers' Roadrunner, which opens their eponymous album, is a straight up rip off of the Velvet Underground, right down to the overdriven organ. But here's the thing--I like what they're ripping off. I enjoy Jonathan Richman's geeky delivery and innocent lyrics. I enjoy their basic sound, which is wholly indebted to VU. And the song Pablo Picasso always makes me laugh. But is it really all that? Does it deserve a place on the 1001 Albums list? Nah. The idea that the Modern Lovers is some kind of groundbreaking release or album is revisionist bullshit. There's nothing here that VU hadn't already done. In fact, The Modern Lovers basically just took one aspect of VU and played variations on it. They do it consistently and well, but even though I enjoy this album, to claim some sort of exalted status for it is just silly.

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3

Pas pire mais generique comme album. Je n’etais peut etrepas dans le bon mood. 3*

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3

Cool find! I've never heard of them before, they sound like an edgier version of the Velvet Underground. I can hear the groundwork for bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols from this album. Favorite Tracks: "Roadrunner" "Pablo Picasso"

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3

A bunch of ace driving songs, with ‘Road Runner’ still being the best of them. A couple of average to good songs in ‘Astral Plane’ and ‘Pablo Picasso’ and a couple of downright stinkers in ‘Hospital’ and ‘Girlfriend’, two ballads that really annoy. When it’s great, you can clearly hear the importance and influence this record has had on punk and rock in general. Having said that, I didn’t love it all the way through. YMMV.

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3

J'ai passé un très mauvais moment à l'écoute de cet album, comme trop souvent en ce moment, je demande donc officiellement à mon camarade d'écoute robboomer, proche de Robert, de le contacter dans les plus bref delais afin de redresser la barre.

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3

Had its moments. Reminded me of a couple different artists mashed together - maybe some overlapping members or influence? 3.5

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3

I liked Roadrunner and Astral Plane, but that was where the album peaked for me. Not much variation in themes, and the guy seems like an ass. Pablo Picasso was super dumb.

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3

забыл что сказать ну гаражи гараж

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3

Not bad at all but nothing really stood out for me. Just a collection of good rock songs, not sure I’ll listen again in a hurry

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3

Not a bad album at all but a little forgettable. Instantly recognised the first song from School of Rock but the rest was fairly similar. Also sounded like they were trying to be the Velvet Underground

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3

Weird, but in a good way. "I'm straight" is basically hey hey you you I don't like your boyfriend.

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3

Ehh, not my taste. Jerry Harrison's band before Talking Heads, so that's cool.

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3

Garage-rock. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

caught my interest after a few songs just because it's weird, but music is lame and too much talk of women

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3

Rating: 6/10

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3

Some of the tracks really sucked, but this is mostly enjoyable. Favorite tracks are Modern World and I'm Straight.

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3

Echte ouwe rockmuziek. Ik vind het een beetje 13 in een dozijn. ***

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3

It was pretty good, but everything sounded the same after a while.

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3

3.98

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3

I get the influence, the tone and timing of Richman's vocals, but halfway through this exercise of listening from start to finish, I'd rather have put on Chain and The Gang.

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3

De zanger stak wat af ten opzichte van de rest van het album. Anders wel oké

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3

Not very impressive.

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3

Some cool tunes, didn't realize this was out in 1976 which was earlier than I thought

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3

Classic

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3

A debut album of a band that is founded by a literal teenager, it is not surprise that "The Modern Lovers" is one of those "proto-punk" albums. But is this really a landmark in proto-punk? Let alone in the influences in punk itself? I can definitely hear punk being conceived along the angsty lyrics and sounds, but it sounds more like a '60s rock inspired fiddling than a genre conceiving album. In terms of sound, it's pretty chill but boring sometimes. It was narrated that the band had a conflict about the direction of their sound; towards more mellow stuff or keeping and improving the aggressive sound? I would love it if they went with the former, but unfortunately, punk clearly went with the latter.

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3

Standouts - Pablo Picasso; Modern World; Dignified and Old Interesting sounding band Lyricism is at the forefront, sometimes kind of funny lyrics This album would probably take a few listens for me to get into it

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3

nako, 3

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3

Wow school of rock I love day school of rock soundtrack life, other than that it’s ok they have good hair the dude has a nice voice but he just kinda goes on and on 3 stars imo

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3

Never heard of this band until today. Pretty good - reminded me of some bands that I couldn’t quite place while listening. I’m thinking it’s a 3.5 and then went to the Wikipedia page that said Rolling Stone placed it in the top 500 best albums of all time. Rolling Stone mag sucks and I have very little respect for any thing they printed after 1984, so rounding down.

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3

I'd believe this is a recent album if I didn't know better (the Current play list). The sound can be tide loosely to Velvet Underground to show that it was a sound back in the early 70s. I like it.

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3

So I read about how influential this was. I struggled to have any thoughts during listening other than "Hm. Those vocals are a bit too unpolished for me. Guitars are cool, though." I feel like I *should* enjoy this more considering its role in history, but proto-punk (dare I say punk in general?) is a weak spot of mine. I wouldn't turn it off but I'd have to cherry pick certain songs to re-visit unless I were doing some chores where it fades a bit more into the background.

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3

Sin pena ni gloria

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3

Rock, proto punk.

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3

Velvet Underground vibes for sure. Its ok.

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3

Nice to become acquainted with another of those hipster bands listed in that LCD Soundsystem song. It sounds years ahead of its time and I found the frontman really engaging. Fun lyrics and some decent tunes too. Downgraded slightly after the second listen as I realised only a few tracks (Pablo Picasso, Hospital, I'm Straight, maybe a couple of others) had properly grabbed me.

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3

Expected more from this.

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3

buen álbum. me quedo con Hospital. me inspiró. creo que esto le gusta a The Strokes.

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3

Never heard this before, pretty good.

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3

Was described as proto punk but reminded me more of the doors. Was alright some interesting wounds and ideas.

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3

Hit and miss

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3

Wears its VU influence too much on its sleeve for me, while not really measuring up (in the vocal department particularly, and emulating Lou Reed is frankly not that high of a bar to aspire to). While Reed assumed the persona of coldness and flat affect in some of the characters he voiced, in these performances that shoe fits a bit too well. And the lyrics aren't as clever as they think they are, though not without charms.

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3

A fun record and, in it's way, a very influential record.

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3

3,5

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3

A breath of fresh air after some awful albums from the generator lol, nice sound.

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3

Kann man gut nebenbei hören

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3

What an interesting band and album. They kind of time travel in that they can sound like a surf-rock proto-punk 60s band or a more 90s grunge-y type, and it's all quite fun. The lead vocalist's voice was at times engaging and at times annoying, but I kind of have a feeling that was what he was going for. Snappy musicianship and steady performances here. All in all, good fun.

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3

A passable impression of The Stooges and Velvet Underground.

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3

I had heard (and am a fan of) Roadrunner, but I was pessimistic about this album being on the list. But - I liked it. It's a nice "bridge" album. There some 60s Animals vibe (with the guitar tones and organ), a 70s punk-rock feel, and it's a clear pre-cursor to the 80s new wave stuff that would come after. I like it.

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3

3/5. First listen. Good stuff!

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3

It was akin to a really good burger patty with Moldy bread. Horrible Openers and closers, but the meat was tasty.

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3

An important stepping stone on the way to punk - honestly, I'm blown away that it was recorded in 71 - but I just don't see myself coming back to it very often.

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3

Enjoyed it. I know Roadrunner but not listened to the other stuff until today

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3

I feel like there's potential there but they haven't really pushed the envelope.

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3

Liked it!

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3

Some the album still sounds jolly.

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3

Nice

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3

Felt familiar. Couple clever songs.

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3

Obviously, some classics, but I much prefer Jonathan Richman's later, more naive work.s

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3

It feels very prescient (Someone I Care About for instance sounds like a Sonic Youth song??), but this kind of minimalist rock is very hit and miss for me (minimalist as in songs with simple chord progressions and a singing style that's not too melodic and close to speaking). It sometimes sounds cool and other times boring depending on my mood.

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3

So far, this project has made me a little bit leery of proto-punk from artists I have never heard of. Well, this album broke the curse; I was pleasantly surprised, because this album was pretty enjoyable! Aspects of this album definitely reminded me of psychedelic rock, and at times the singer reminded me a lot of Jim Morrison. At the same time, I hear some bits and pieces that sound like 80s and 90s alt rock genres. I wouldn't ever presume to say this is the only band to have past and future musical references spanning four decades, but for some reason it was very apparent to me here!

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3

on its own, the modern lovers is an average album. it was listenable and had some enjoyable parts. but when compared to the other proto-punk albums that i've listened to on this list, this album is amazing, easily a 5! i suppose it's the rock elements that allow me to enjoy this record more than other proto-punk albums, but it still doesn't make me excited. i think i might just prefer my punk more produced/commercialized. it was a cool listen though with the punk, rock, and experimental combination.

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3

Good. Will listen again

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3

Tää ei ollut pöllömpi. Tosin vähän ehkä epätasainen. Tykkäsin biiseistä jossa noi urut oli pinnassa. Tuli sellanen 22pp -fiilis. 3/5

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3

this would get higher marks from me if Jonathon Richman's voice wasn't so blah and monotone. He has character and some charisma and isn't the only lead singer with zero range. Kind of an indie-pop Iggy Pop? But it all starts to sound the same. The band is great, I like the songs. But Richman...

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3

Garage-rock. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

Can’t decide if I like the slow-fast talk-singing. Reminds me of toned-down velvet underground. Okkervil river vocals are a lot like this. Somebody get this poor guy a girlfriend.

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3

This felt more modern than 1976 and was very emo. Kinda problematic, but not the absolute worst.

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3

I like the music and wacky lyrics but not a fan of the vocals or talk-singing. Kind of reminds me of the Talking Heads

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3

This is the kind of thing I usually like. But it left me kind of meh. It wasn't bad, it wasn't boring, it just didn't float my boat today. My favorite song was I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms.

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2

Why is this here?

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2

Not a good singing performance, almost slurrish singing, uninspiring and monotonous music

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2

I should love this because I love that dude Jonathan but just no.

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2

Was not gone on it, not really into that proto punk stripped down sound

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2

I find them kind of annoying overall, to be honest. I realized it's part of the idea probably, but I really only enjoyed a couple tracks.

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2

Bluesy punk music. Not really my thing. 4/10.

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2

Not sure what's so special about this one.

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2

Not really my thang

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2

Droney Droney, not my bag 2*

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2

I don't know. It's quirky. Maybe impressive / different at the time. Do I want to hear it again? Probably not.

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2

Igual a todos os álbuns dos anos 70.

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2

I kinda want to like this record, but then I hear a song like "Hospital" that sounds like the musings of a whiney, heartbroken teen from New Jersey and I just can't. they've definitely got an interesting sound and I can see how their proto-punk, post-bebop thing is something some people like, but I am not one of them.

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2

I’ve never heard of the band before and not really a fan of the album just thought the whole album was meh. Some of the lyrics were strange and not much of a fan of the vocals 2/5

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2

Ramon’s vibes

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2

Ik had dit prima kunnen missen.

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2

Wel aardig maar die zanger gaat me op een gegeven moment wel tegen staan met z'n gejammer.

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2

Mja, kon er weinig mee.

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2

Tja, wat moet je hiervan zeggen? Hij beklijft niet? Het inspireert niet? Ook niet heel slecht overigens, maar soms is dat het ergste wat er is: oninteressante muziek.

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2

Felt a bit amateuristic

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2

The issue with 'The Modern Lovers' is that it leaves you wanting to listen to The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. I read that lead singer Jonathan Richman was obsessed with the Velvet Underground, and you're left in no doubt after listening to this album. But you are left wondering why he decided to opt for an all together different narrative in his lyrics. Supposedly he's just lived an entirely clean and positive existence to date. Hard to criticism him for that. But part of the grand appeal of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed's solo work is the dark, edgy nature to the lyrics. In the Jonathan Richman world, 'Perfect Day' is just a song about having a really great day. Smoke a doobie, Jonathan! Lyrics aside, you can't not love a bit of New York 70s art rock. It's stuffy, it's pretentious but it's absolutely iconic. You can see the direct lineage from The Modern Lovers to all of the indie music I dabbled with at university in the mid-noughties. From Belle & Sebastian to The Moldy Peaches, it's all there at various points through the course of this album. I just wish the band had strapped on some shiny shiny boots of leather before penning it.

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2

A few good songs (Roadrunner, Modern World) but mostly fairly boring. Apparently hugely influential and I can hear the roots of styles other bands used to make better music.

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2

Snoozer

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2

I got worried when I saw they were influenced by the Velvet Underground AND produced by John Cale. There were a few moments of VU-ishness (e.g., "Cracked") and that's not good because I'm not into VU. But, the rest was ok. I wavered between a 2 and 3. I really liked Roadrunner - good track. I kind of laughed at the British punk accent Jonathan Richman affected particularly in the beginning of Astral Plane. Dude, you're from Boston. I think the main reason I'm going with a 2 is that at the end of the day it was mostly the same song over and over, and I'm never a fan of that.

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2

Hearing the first few notes and vocals of Roadrunner I thought is this a wannabe Velvet Underground? After doing some reading, apparently the answer is yes. Never heard of these guys (or really the lead guy). It wasn't awful. Well, the lyrics were kinda terrible - cheap Velvet Underground knockoff. But the arrangements were intriguing. Not my thing and zero production value, but I can appreciate it and what they were going for. Sometimes trying a bit too hard to be the Doors, but like a kid brother who is even more strung out. Tough one to rate. Not worse than a 2, not better than a 3. Which one is it? F the lyrics are awful (Girlfriend? Pablo Picasso? ugh). Sorry that's the clincher.

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2

It's interesting to see where Jerry Harrison came from before Talking Heads. But the singing here (or lack thereof) was dreadful. The lyrics didn't bother me, although it's interesting that the songs had lyrics that were more risque. I mean, it was 1972. "Saturday In The Park" kind of lyrics and here we have someone saying the word "a**hole" in a song. Quite a wide range. But Richman's vocals were so terrible they just pulled me out of enjoying the songs. Maybe a 1.6 so rounding up...

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2

2.5 | De ese new wave de finales de los setenta, que si uno no pone mucha atención todo empieza a sonar igual. Sí, es la inspiración de muchas cosas que se oyen hoy, pero no es mi era favorita. De este disco, siento que poco o casi nada destaca. Le di tres vueltas y no notaba el avance ni me motivó nunca a voltear y ver el título de una canción o menos aún a agregarla a mi librería.

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2

every song sounds the same

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2

I feel like I understand better now what The Strokes are pulling from.

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2

Omg - this lead singer sounds like Fred Armisen... or maybe Fred is impersonating this lead singer lol. Either way it was very hard to take seriously. Shoot I feel uncultured, but I don't really like this.

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2

Resolved the norm of this genre, not a lot in it for me

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2

Not feeling the 70s

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2

The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers (1976 [1972]) This little treat of American protopunk (recorded in 1972 but not released until 1976) is suitably and simultaneously mindless and groovy. The lyrics are unduly simple and repetitive. They lack insight, intricacy, or even humor, even though one gets the sense that they try (e.g., “Pablo Picasso” and “Girlfriend” [lyrically spelled “g-i-r-l-f-r-e-n”]). So, okay, this is not thoughtful poetry. The overly dominating chord progressions and melodies are likewise unduly simple and repetitive. With subpar solo vocals that far too frequently descend into non-tonal verbalizations, the ‘songs’ rarely rise to the level of music. The instrumentals are, however, interesting. There is consistently fine electric bass grounding, deft, precise drumming, and sometimes haunting, droning layers of keyboards and inelaborate electric guitar elements. But there’s no real virtuosity evident here. The grand exception to this wallow in mediocrity is the song “Hospital”, which actually has tempo, time signature, and rhythmic variations, as well as lyrical depth and development. It has a probing theme—a contradiction in love, noting the first-person lover’s distinction between the beloved’s being and the beloved’s actions. (“I can’t stand what you do, but I’m in love with your eyes”). But the song is still flawed by melodic monotony, and it was recorded with an unnecessarily high level of hum and tape hiss. All in all, this album doesn’t quite qualify as cool. 2/5

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2

This dude's voice is annoying and I didn't enjoy this album very much at all. It's typical early punk music I suppose but not a fan

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2

The art rock schtick wears thin very quickly. || Whining about Picasso being an asshole but still getting girls, and some other lyrics felt very 'nice guy' incel. Even if Picasso was as famous a jerk as he was a painter haha. 2 stars.

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2

This started off strong, but very quickly dropped in quality.

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2

Not bad but a little boring.

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2

Good fun- I didn’t connect with the lyrics but I saw it’s potential

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2

Roadrunner is a decent song. All the others are weighed down with trying to be The Velvet Underground. They do a good job, but it's just not that great.

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2

Instrumentally the group are good and they make some nifty grooves. The problem for me is the vocals are not that interesting, semi spoken but no passion.

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2

Tylsä

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2

Bwoah. Tylsä kuin Vermon hevosmiehen mora...

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2

No conocía este grupo pero sí a su líder. Rock básico a medio camino del punk o new wave, interesante por el año en que se hizo, debió ser inspirador para mucha gente. Está bien pero sin ser una obra a destacar.

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2

Didn't inspire anything in me, except a couple big eye-rolls for the Pablo Picasso song. Hannah Gadsby has ruined Pablo Picasso for me, and for good reason!

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2

Don't know what to make of this. I don't hate it. But it's not my thing. 2/5

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2

I don't get it

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2

Interesting punk/rock Boston based album. Didn’t really grab me

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2

A little annoying…

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2

really bad

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2

Released in 1976 but recorded in 1972, I guess this was modern for the time. You can hear the roots of punk. Not very memorable though and the vocals are grating. Rating: 2/5 Playlist track: Roadrunner Date listened: 18/07/22

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2

It's fine, very old style music, it's nice and chill tho

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2

A massive slog to listen to. Nothing really grabbed me at all. 2

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2

Its what I imagine Post punk mixed with the Ramones and a little bit of Goth rock would sound like. Certainly not for me

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2

pas fan, du rock avec une voix traînante pénible. mou du gland

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2

The album wasn't great. I was not familiar with any of the songs nor of the band. It is best described as punk music. It was totally forgettable. Probably a little lower than a 2, but I will round up.

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2

Not bad a bit boring though

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1

meh, didn't enjoy it.

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1

Really didn't vibe with this one.

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1

Garbage doors ripoff

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1

Didn't really get this. I only liked the song "Government Center" and the rest went from active dislike to extreme indifference. I was on a streak of a bunch of good albums in a row and this really ended that streak abruptly.

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1

Awful. Slurred lyrics come across as extremely shallow too.

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1

freakin punk music sucks

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1

Not for me.

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1

i cannot say one positive thing about this album. first of all congratulations you made a song about you being straight that’s so weird but okay. also it sounds like they put a bunch of words on paper and read off of it in no special way or anything. just really bad.

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1

Just go listen to The Stranglers if you want to hear what these guys wanted to sound like.

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1

4/24/2022 Today's Album: "Modern Lovers" by The Modern Lovers - In my personal opinion, this album is a pile of absolute dog shit. Excluding the highlights, which I will discuss a bit later, this album has absolutely unbearable vocals. The dude sounds like he's shitfaced and just doesn't give a fuck at all. I know that with punk music and especially with what this album is clearly ripping off (The Velvet Underground), there is a lot of "bad" vocals and it's sort of the point of the genre, but jesus christ if it isn't just absolutely grating. I can manage it on the songs where he's singing with any sort of rhythmic intent, but often times it just doesn't fit the music whatsoever. I think the production on this album is actually quite okay and the instruments sound pretty good on some tracks, but most of the performances throughout here are just so mediocre and generic. It often feels like there is little to no difference in the instrumental from track to track and that is truly what makes the highlights stand out. There are only 3 highlights on this record for me. The track Pablo Picasso still suffers from the dogshit lead vocalist's singing, but I think the instrumental is actually really tasteful and the lyrics are kind of funny, even if they come across as completely annoying due to the voice. The track hospital feels way more subtle and mellow than any other track with this really nice soft organ opening and what I can expect is this vocalist trying their absolute hardest to sound somewhat decent (and failing at it). I like the drum groove that comes in at about 45 seconds and I think the time switch ups are pretty cool and well done. Government Center sounds like a punk track you might here closer to the 80s or 90s and is the only time when this album feels forward thinking. The lead vocal is still incredibly grading but the instrumental is fun and bubbly with claps and a goofy synth sound. Overall, though, this record is fucking awful. I think I am still missing some perspective on the punk genre, but at this point I have heard enough good punk songs to know this record never reaches the same highs as any of them. There are some promising moments on this record, but it just is so few and far between that it is seriously one of the worst album experiences I have ever had. Listen to the highlights if you can handle some strange punk and seriously just don't listen to the other tracks. They are generic, blown out, and have terrible vocals over them. Score: 2/10 bad Highlights: Pablo Picasso, Hospital, Government Center

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1

Getting some cheap Doors vibes, but I mean way, way, way cheaper. I was going to give this a 2. However, when I saw the average rating was somehow above 3, I knew I had a job to do...

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