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Monday, July 12, 2010

Something For Everybody

The results from Devo's song study led to the "88% focus group approved" LP "Something For Everybody" in stores and on iTunes and Amazon.com. There are 4 versions, but only one version made it to retail stores, which has a slightly altered tracklist from what was announced at the press conference. There is a deluxe digital version with all 16 tracks from which the final 12 were chosen for the retail version. There is also the digital download of the 12 tracks that received the most votes, which is the tracklist announced at the press conference after the Song Study closed. An explanation was posted on the Club Devo website, and the basic message was that Devo took their fans input and then took creative control and included the songs they felt should be included on the album. Strangely, the track which received the most votes in the Song Study, "Watch Us Work It" did not make it on the retail release. This was very frustrating to me, until I bought the CD and gave it a listen.

I still feel that they should have traded with the less popular songs first in order to get the ones they wanted on the album, being that "Work It" is one of their best tracks ever, and would have been among the top few on the album. However, I must say that I was far more impressed with the album as a whole than I would have expected with the absence of that track. From start to finish, Devo manage to retain their signature 80's sound, while managing to sound "Fresh" at the same time. Standout tracks include "Later Is Now", "Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)", "Cameo" and "Human Rocket", and a song I hadn't enjoyed from the 30-second Song Study clip, "No Place Like Home".

Overall, I do agree with the band's decision to ultimately decide the tracklisting since it is their music, but I wish they would have made the "fan-approved" version available in stores, not just through digital download. This may be a digital era for music, but many music fans like myself still want the physical CD in hand, with album artwork and liner notes. Besides, you get the best of both worlds when buying the CD, because you can rip it to your computer and have the tracks digitally just as you would if you downloaded from iTunes. No matter how you acquire new music, this new release from Devo deserves its place on your CD shelf or iPod. This album lives up to its title, not just in the songs but in the many available versions available.

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