Friday, January 23, 2009

Song Of The Day - 1/23/09

"Beautiful World"
New Traditionalists
Released 1981

Devo had already hit it as big as they ever would by 1981, with the success of "Whip It", which became the Akron based band's biggest hit a year earlier. Bands like Devo didn't exist to feed the pop music machine, though, and it was not at all surprising to see them never sniff that level of success again.

This song, taken from the follow-up album New Traditionalists, could have easily been a hit. It's catchy, synth driven beat, highlighted by a surf guitar break, could have easily found chart success at a time when songs like "Bette Davis Eyes" and "Kiss On My List" were spending weeks atop the Billboard lists. A look at the video provides the likely explanation as to why it didn't:

[video to be posted shortly]

What I love about this song is the way the upbeat sounds and lyrics lull one into thinking it's simply an updated version of a "What A Wonderful World"-like sappy anthem, until you get to the chrous reply line at the end which snaps you to attention:

It's a beautiful world (for you)
It's a beautiful world (for you)
It's a beautiful world (for you)
It's a beautiful world (Not Me)

Ah, the lovely smell of irony in the morning! Another reason to love the band, whose cynical view (recall that the name, Devo, is shorthand for de-evolution, the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.) of culture managed to surface once again. This is a highlight from their catalog, and one worth revisiting.

all music link

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