Songs Nathan Might Like #2 (Devo Edition)

by Chris McGinty (not pictured here) of
A little while back, I started a
new series of blog posts that I could do at my leisure. The idea was that there
are some songs that I’ll hear and think, “You know who would like this?” For
the purposes of the blog, I figured I could do some that Nathan might like, and
since Miguel sometimes looks at the blog, maybe I can do some for him as well.
The first installment created a
little bit of controversy (pronounced here the way it’s pronounced in “The Man
Who Stole a Leopard”). We have no proof that anyone else really reads this
blog, so the controversy was actually with its intended target, Nathan.
One of the tracks was “Going
Under” by Devo. It was a song I found during my ongoing Spotify journey, and
after a couple of listens I got to thinking, “This is one of Devo’s best songs.”
Then after a couple of more listens I thought, “Nathan might like this.” In
fact, what Nathan said in his reply post was, “Very electronic. I like. Devo is
probably a band I would thoroughly like if I got into their catalog.”
Flash forward to a recent phone
conversation, it turns out that Nathan didn’t end up being all that impressed by
Devo after all; thus, the controversy (pronounced this time the way that Prince
pronounced it). Nathan said that he listened to Devo’s Greatest Hits album, and
just didn’t think too much of it. I told him that I would try to find him some
more stuff he might like.
Devo – Enough Said – (1981)

I’m going to start with “Enough
Said,” because there are elements of the track that were used in the “Weird Al”
Yankovic stylistic parody “Dare to Be Stupid,” which I also discussed in the initial
blog post. Also, this to me is one of the best tracks from the “New
Traditionalists” album. As the follow up to “Freedom of Choice,” which I feel
to be a near perfect album, “New Traditionalists” doesn’t have a bad song on
it, but some tracks are the clear “best tracks.”
Devo – Race of Doom – (1981)
If there is a track from “New
Traditionalists,” aside from “Going Under,” that I think is right up Nathan’s
alley, it’s “Race of Doom.” One aspect of Devo is their sci-fi chic. They might
not embrace the sci-fi chic aspect enough, especially in their earlier music,
which embraced a more progressive rock aspect of their music. I think that may
be a product of their time. Their first album was released in 1978, and while
they’d cemented elements of their sound by 1980 with “Freedom of Choice,” the
synthesizer revolution hadn’t fully been realized yet.
Devo – The 4th Dimension – (1984)
This one might be taking “Nathan
might like” a step too far. “The 4th Dimension” to me is a marriage of Devo’s
sci-fi chic and their progressive rock influence. It’s also one of their clearest examples of a pop song. One complaint that Nathan had was that Devo
seemed to like covering songs, and while this is an original song, it uses the
main riff from “Day Tripper” by The Beatles (meaning that if Nathan doesn’t like
it, I’ll just put it in a Miguel post). This track also has a light use of a
vocoder, or vocoder like effect, near the end of the track. We’ll see what
Nathan thinks. Is it enough vocoder to win him over?
Some of you more astute readers
might be wondering why I didn’t include any tracks from “Freedom of Choice” in
this post, given that I praise the album so highly. I looked up the track list
of Devo’s Greatest Hits, and my two favourite tracks from “Freedom of Choice”
were on there. This means that Nathan wasn’t immediately impressed by them. I’m
going to write a full review of “Freedom of Choice,” and if Nathan feels like
it he can listen to some of those tracks then.
Devo – That’s Good” – (1982)
Now that I said that thing about
the tracks on the Greatest Hits, I’m going to post a song that was included as
though I never said that. “That’s Good” was the emphasis track from “Oh, No! It’s
Devo,” and to me it’s one of their best synth heavy tracks. It’s possible that
Nathan dismissed this track in his disappointment with the rest of the Greatest
Hits album, so I’ll call his attention to it again.
Chris McGinty wonders Q: Am I not
a man? A: I am a blogger!

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