Jonathan Richman

Surrender to Jonathan

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Surrender to Jonathan was Richman's return to a major label, and he constructed the album as a showcase of his finest, or at least most notorious, songs of the early '90s. "Egyptian Reggae" and "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar" are hauled out of the woodwork and given moderately polished reworkings by Andy Paley. Even with the slicker sound, Jonathan remains Jonathan, and no amount of studio polish can erase the fact that his goofball, naive pop is better-suited for small clubs than records. There are a couple of worthy additions to his set list, "Not Just a 'Plus One' on the Guest List Anymore" and "Surrender," but Surrender to Jonathan remains a marginal effort.

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