Oh No! It's Devo

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New Traditionalists seemed to indicate that Devo saw their audience as having shifted to the mainstream, and Oh, No! It's Devo slides further in that direction. For their first non-self-produced album since the debut, the band brings in Cars producer Roy Thomas Baker, who smooths out any remaining edges in the band's sound, and employs colder-sounding digital synths more often. As a result, it's hard to differentiate Devo from all the other new wave synth-pop acts following the trail they'd originally blazed. Topping off their increasingly generic sound is a reliance on thudding electronic percussion, which contributes heavily to the album's overall feeling of bloodlessness. Still, Oh, No! It's Devo is only about as uneven as New Traditionalists, which means that there are several quality singles, and some barely memorable album tracks. There's also a bit more novelty material, perhaps in hopes of scoring another hit on the level of "Whip It." It isn't terrible, but compared to Devo's earlier conceptual satire, it often feels distressingly pointless. Unfortunately, the comparative lack of ideas on Oh, No! It's Devo would only get worse on subsequent albums.

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