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The Modern Lovers is an album that seems to be garnering an awful lot of praise these days as a lot of proto-punk bands do, Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers and their self-titled album is the type of album that has influenced loads of bands but failed to be as popular as a lot of the bands it influenced.
Officially the album wasn't released until 1976 but it was recorded 4 years earlier and the band spent years playing live with bands such as the New York Dolls and Wayne County. Jonathan Richman has a nasally somewhat geeky East coast (US) voice, the band are arty and the lyrics fit this type of persona, they're pretty clever at times but they don't always work for me, clearly influenced by Lou Reed and although good, I would not say he's on par.
Astral Plane, Old World, Pablo Picasso and Girlfriend are tracks that I couldn't care less about, I find the music on them rather bland and the lyrics to pretentious. My dislike for these tracks could largely be down to the fact that the first 4 tracks are of a rather calm nature and I prefer my music with a bit of bounce.
Despite being a popular tune with many personally I've never been overly keen on Roadrunner, it's a bit too simplistic.
The band are a tight outfit, even if they play a little loose at times this usually suits Richman's flu suffering sounding vocals. The songwriting is rather different and the fact that for the most part they don't rhyme like so many songs may make it troublesome for some listeners to get in to. Even from my point of view, it's the somewhat catchier and energetic tracks that appeal to me "Modern World", "I'm Straight", "Government Center" and even though it fits more in to the slow and soppy category I enjoy "Hospital" mostly for the rather random opening line of the second verse "I go to bakeries all day long"
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Roadrunner (Twice) - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
2 Astral Plane - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
3 Old World - The Modern Lovers
4 Pablo Picasso - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
5 She Cracked - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
6 Hospital - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
7 Someone I Care About - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
8 Girlfriend - The Modern Lovers
9 Modern World - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
10 Dignified And Old - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
11 I'm Straight - The Modern Lovers
12 Government Center - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
13 I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms - The Modern Lovers
14 Dance With Me - The Modern Lovers
15 Someone I Care About - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
16 Modern World - Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers
17 Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers