Most will remember them as a one hit wonder with the single ‘Whip It’, but the musically educated are well aware of how influential Devo are to music. Turning music into an art form has always been the basis of Devo’s work. Through their concepts and theories (such as De-evolution) to their stage show and music videos, Devo have expanded on the music to give a total artistic performance.
Sadly it has been a long time since the men wearing energy domes (aka the plastic pots on their heads) created any art. Something For Everybody is return to not only the concepts, but the great song writing the Mothersburgh brothers are capable of creating. Allowing fans through their website to choose what songs made it onto the final product is another example of how the group is more than a rock (or in their case new wave) band.
Musically, the final product comes across as probably their most mature recording. While the humour and silliness is still there in tracks like ‘What We Do’ and ‘Don’t Shoot ( I Am A Man)’, the album also contains a more serious tone in social commentary and subject (check ‘No Place Like Home’). The guitar work is precise and the synths still play a large part in the Devo sound, but at times I found myself comparing some of the tracks to a band like No Means No. And vocally, Mark is at his best. It almost doesn’t seem like it has been two decades since their last offering (which wasn’t that great). The band have recaptured the sound that helped make albums like Q: Are We Not Men and Freedom Of Choice great records.
Twenty years is a long time between albums for a band that has been around for almost forty, but the old saying “good things come to those whose wait” applies in this case. This album exemplifies what made Devo so great back in the late 70s and early 80s: catchy, powerful, fun and (ir)relevant. A Devo album that fans will love, because they helped craft the final product.