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. ‘Human Rocket’ sees the ‘we’re all robots here’ shtick that they have explored so rigorously for four decades starting to run thin, while ‘What We Do’ proves the truth-said-in-jest rule when they sing, “It’s all the same, there’s nothing new”. 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 ‘There’s No Place Like Home’, 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 ‘Tonight’/Labyrinth era Bowie. 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 ‘Jocko Homo’.
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