Guest Author - Lizz Shepherd
Devo has remained in the American consciousness thanks to the song “Whip It” from the album Freedom of Choice, released in 1980. However, Freedom of Choice wasn’t the group’s first, or even second, album. Before “Whip It,” the group preached its ideas about de-evolution, or, the backward progress of humans as they cleave the consumer culture and to mindless work tasks instead of real advancement.
Few “Whip It” fans understood what the song was about, partially thanks to a video that made it look a little like a kinky ode to S&M. But, the de-evolution message lived on in four more albums in the 80s and one in 1990. This month, Devo released its first studio album in 20 years. Something for Everybody is another look at consumer culture and the herd mentality that is all too present in American society.
In perhaps a tongue-in-cheek look at the way creative decisions are currently being made in the music industry, Devo created a number of focus-group studies to allow fans to choose what went on the newalbum. The Song Study was then followed up by a disclosure of the input that the corporate backers had, further illustrating the influences on music that currently being released.
Something for Everybody was released on June 15, 2010.
Devo, older and still wise: