Beautiful Mutants?

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So, a couple of months ago I was very excited to hear that Mark Mothersbaugh was working on a project called DEVO 2.0 for Disney (Buena Vista Music, whatever). The BRILLIANT idea was to have a manufactured band of tweens who did Devo covers and then sell it to kids. Basically, co-opt co-opting.

I got the album today, and I have to say that I am very disappointed. The whole thing comes off as a school project that the kids turn in, but you can tell the work was really done by their parents. The music is actually better than Devo's, due to the march of technology and more money for production, but I would be amazed if it's the kids actually playing it. The vocals range from slightly better than Devo (The Boy/Girl You Want) to terrible (everything else).

Most of the lyrics have not been changed, and this is certainly more subversive than most things in the children's music section. However, anything they might have tried to say is betrayed by the cover of "Beautiful World". When the little girl is singing "It's a beautiful world - for you" and follows it up with "and I guess for me too", my soul shrunk, the possibilites of the world shrunk, and I threw up a little in my mouth. The whole point of the song is that it's NOT a beautiful world, remember Mark?

Selling poppy subversive songs to kids is on thing (that I approve of). Selling them out is another thing entirely.

Interesting that the sexuality related stuff (girl/boy you want, uncontrollable urge, and Jerkin' back and forth) is there pretty much intact, but the anti-conformist/anti-consumerism message? G-O-N-E.

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Hi:....Thanks for the heads up about the new children's version of Devo!...I was curious about this new project when I read about it some months ago....I saw Devo once here in Santa Cruz (CA) in the late 70's. I got caught up in the momentary weirdness and wore a factory jumpsuit and a particle mask to the show...:)! Anyhow, I have some of their stuff in various audio/video formats....Eventually, I'll get around to adding them to my freeform playlist at Surf City Sounds Plus....I'm all over the place, genre wise, it sure is fun! Thanks for the stuff on KQAK! Along with the old KSAN of the '70s, these stations were my faves when I lived in SF, etc. Best Regards! ~JBK

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This page contains a single entry by edgore published on May 4, 2006 9:42 PM.

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