Deviating from their original concept proves Devo's downfall
The [a]Devo[/a] of the ’80s looked to the 21st century. Their time should be now, but 21st century [a]Devo[/a] are… much like ’80s [a]Devo[/a]; while continuing to crusade against ‘de-evolution’, these new wave pioneers are stuck in stasis. [b]‘Human Rocket’[b] sees the ‘we’re all robots here’ shtick that they have explored so rigorously for four decades starting to run thin, while [b]‘What We Do’[/b] proves the truth-said-in-jest rule when they sing, [i]“It’s all the same, there’s nothing new”[/i]. Their hand’s been forced by allowing fans to vote for a 12-song tracklist whittled down from 16, but even when [a]Devo[/a] force a break from their kinetic past, as on the wistful ballad [b]‘There’s No Place Like Home’[/b], it seems they’re just as limited outside the template. Their handling of a piano results in the worst of ’80s ballads, with all the faux grandeur of [b]‘Tonight’[/b]/[i]Labyrinth[/i] era [b]Bowie[/b]. It only proves that [a]Devo[/a]’s original concept was so tight that whether they deviate from or doggedly stick to it, they’ll never be as good as [b]‘Jocko Homo’[/b].
Click here to get your copy of Devo’s ‘Something For Everyone’ from the Rough Trade shop