Devo - New Traditionalists | RECORD STORE DAY

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''New Traditionalists'' is the fourth studio album by the New Wave rock band Devo, released in 1981. It features the minor hits "Through Being Cool" and "Beautiful World." The sound continued in the vein of the previous album ''Freedom of Choice'', with synthesizers moved to the forefront and guitars more subdued. Some of the tracks feature drum machines for the first time on a Devo record. In addition, the lyrics are frequently dark and vitriolic.

With the success of "Whip It" and its associated album ''Freedom of Choice,'' Devo attracted a new, more pop-oriented audience that was less interested in Devo's artistic theories and intelligent lyrics. In response, ''New Traditionalists'' was aimed to be a much darker, deeper and serious album. The lead-off track, "Through Being Cool," is a direct attack at Johnny-Come-Lately fans who didn't understand Devo's message.

As with every Devo album and tour, the band developed a new look for the album, eschewing the Energy Dome headgear, and replacing it with the plastic "New Traditionalist Pomp," modeled after John F. Kennedy's famous hairstyle. On stage, Devo wore what were called "Utopian Boy Scout Uniforms," consisting of a gray button down shirt, gray slacks, and black patent leather shoes. They also wore a blue V-neck tee shirt with the New Traditionalists logo on the black sleeves. This can be seen on the US and Australia album covers. On the European cover, Devo wears a "Sleeveless Maxi-Turtleneck Sweater." The t-shirts, turtlenecks, and plastic versions of the pomps were available through Devo's fan club catalog.

Most of the songs on the album are very dark with the lyrics lacking the irony and wit that Devo was known for. The exception to this is "Beautiful World." At first listen, the song seems very upbeat and happy, until the line "It's not for me," which reveals the more cynical side of the song. This is made much clearer by the song's video (see below). On "Enough Said," Devo becomes political, making fun of world leaders and the political process: "Take all the leaders from around the world / Put them together in a great big ring / Televise it as the lowest show on Earth / And let them fight like hell to see who's king."

''New Traditionalists'' was not quite as much of a success as the ''Freedom of Choice'' LP, peaking at #23 on the ''Billboard'' charts. The non-album single "Working in the Coal Mine" (a cover of the Lee Dorsey song, written by Allen Toussaint) peaked at #43 on the Pop Singles chart. The album and its singles continued Devo's success in Australia, with "Beautiful World" peaking at #14 and "Working in the Coal Mine" at #20. - Wikipedia