The Modern Lovers


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Live catches Jonathan Richman at the height of his candy-floss novelty period. The music is warm and mild, almost all of it derived from '50s and early-'60s models such as surf idioms and guitar instrumentals. The lyrics are sweet and charming, sure to appeal to fanciful youngsters with visions of ice cream men and little dinosaurs in their heads. The only bothersome misstep here is the repeated encore reprise of the chorus to "Ice Cream Man," which extends well past the point of honest enjoyment. Sound quality and instrumental balances are excellent, and performances are low-key and winsome. While not an essential album in the Modern Lovers' canon, this sunny little platter is a fetching listen. [Live was also released with a bonus track.]

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