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  • Freak Magnet
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Freak Magnet


Price: CDN$ 14.99
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 28 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00004KD35
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hollywood Is High
2. Freak Magnet
3. Sleepwalkin'
4. All I Want
5. New Generation
6. In The Dark
7. Rejoice And Be Happy
8. Mosh Pit
9. Forbidden
10. When You Died
11. At Your Feet
12. I Danced
13. I'm Bad
14. Happiness Is
15. A Story

Product Description

Product Description

Formed in the early 1980s, the Violent Femmes and their folky, quirky, acoustic-driven take on power pop gained them a reputation as the freakish cousins of the then-massive new-wave movement. It also gave them quite a huge following, especially after the success of their debut. Their formula was simple: Gordon Gano's adenoidal whine and offbeat lyrics coupled with Brian Ritchie's frenzied acoustic bass and a simple, stripped down drum kit. Columbia. 2005.

Amazon.ca

Formed in the early 1980s, the Violent Femmes and their folky, quirky, acoustic-driven take on power pop gained them a reputation as the freakish cousins of the then-massive new-wave movement. It also gave them quite a huge following, especially after the success of their debut. Their formula was simple: Gordon Gano's adenoidal whine and offbeat lyrics coupled with Brian Ritchie's frenzied acoustic bass and a simple, stripped down drum kit. Almost two decades later, their formula really hasn't changed much; Freak Magnet couldn't really have been performed by anyone other than the Violent Femmes. Gordon Gano still knows how to write great pop songs, and "Hollywood Is High," "Sleepwalkin'," or "New Generation" could have easily appeared on any previous Violent Femmes release. Freak Magnet is not the sound of a band maturing or exploring a new sound or even expanding on an old one; rather, it's the sound of a band comfortably within its element. After the feeble effort of 1994's New Times, Freak Magnet is a fantastic return to form. --Robert Burrow

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm surprised by the mixed nature of the preceding reviews. I found this album, coming hot on the heels of the excellent live Viva Wisconsin to be an excellent effort. Any band that has produced as many good to great albums and as many brilliant songs as the Femmes is always going to be judged harshly against the exceptional quality of their earlier work. The Femmes first album is their blessing and curse. I am sure it is still being purchased in respectable quantities today, as new generations of fans first hear the timeless "Add it Up" or "Blister in the Sun." It wasn't until the release of Why Do Birds Sing that the Femmes finally got noticed by the population at large for the work that they were doing. Since then, American Music has only added to their Albatross. No one sounds like the Femmes, and no one else produces songs with the same quirky, ominous, genre blending virtuosity. Freak Magnet is the Violent Femmes at middle age. Sleepwalking, the first single, is as concise and poignant statement about life as a "rock and roll star" as I have ever heard, all set to a propulsive folk-punk beat. In fact, this undercurrent of alienations continues throughout the album. This is Femmes straight ahead and full out, with all the constituent folk rock weirdness firmly in place. This is a band that has never lacked for a distinctive voice and vision and Freak Magnet definitely lives up to it. I for one am just happy to have new Femmes music, much less an album this good.
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By Aaron Gutsell on March 26 2000
Format: Audio CD
Releasing their first studio album in six years, the Violent Femmes have received mixed reviews. Comments have included progress, the punkish, cynical band still cranking out clever little ditties that are wearing thin after 15 years. Superficially, this may seem a correct analysis, but on deeper reflection, entirely wrong. VF's two previous releases, New Times, and, Why Do Birds Sing? are unrelated sounds, each its own genius, the maligned New Times a logical, intellectual sound extension, and also a filled-out, grown-up VF sound. Who else in the world could have written a catchy song about the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio? Freak Magnet has brushed away the complexity of adding to the New Times sound, an evolutionary dead-end, and made a switch as timely as U2's musical progress between Rattle & Hum and Achtung Baby. Freak Magnet reviewers have also been skewed by experience. None mention having seen the Femmes live, and this album is all about live; refer a welcome treat, Viva Wisconsin, released in the last 6 months. Freak Magnet is the cumulative output of 20 years plugged and unplugged, streetcorner, theater, stadium and studio. A writer's object is their so-called 'natural voice', not fancy college words getting in the way of communication, but a conversational voice best captured on a tape recorder. Freak Magnet is the VF Natural Voice, their musical Natural Voice, an album instantly translatable to the stage, the quick tempo of a busking-sound drum, their style, as distinctive as the wrong-end drumsticks of Pantera. Catch this music live and you will know conversion, and when it comes time to slow the show down, VF will perform bittersweet ballads up there w/ the best. U2 is rumored to be returning to their old sound- the Joshua Tree era- minus techno, can they as assuredly make the transition to their roots as the Violent Femmes?
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Format: Audio CD
Are Violent Femmes getting old and staying together just for the sake of the fans? Yes, obviously. Is their music suffering because of it? That's hard to tell. It is a fact that Freak Magnet, one of their newer albums is not as good as their classics, but on the other hand, the music is still excellent, just not AS excellent.

Freak Magnet tends to appeal to a newer generation of fans, more jumpy and less weird. Personally, this album is not one of my VF favorites, but as a VF fan, I still have it and listen to it occasionally. Honestly, the online-only album is better with its Rilke poems and pain-in-the-behind necessity for downloading.

I recommend Freak Magnet only if you have money to spare and have all the other VF albums already - it is not a must in a VF collection, although it's still pretty decent.
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Format: Audio CD
The album is amazing. Simply. In my opinion the big stand outs are Sleepwalkin', In The Dark, and Happiness Is. The title track is a fun lively song but Sleepwalkin' has that lyrical hook, like so many other Femme songs, that make you instantly love it. "Someone sucked me! Late last evening..."..."I have so few! Good memories...". This is definitely not the best Femmes album. I'd say the 2 must have albums by them would be the Add It Up collection of tracks and Why Do Birds Sing? Then this? I know its not really fair because Add It Up covers the best tracks off all the earlier albums but if you're on a tight budget these are the 3 must haves.
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By A Customer on Oct. 5 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the femmes grown older but trying to keep up with the younger guys. Even the CD cover is cartoonish. Actually, I guess this trend started with the "Machine" CD. I haven't listened to "Freak Magnet" for a long time but I do remember the beginning (the "A" side) as being mostly strong and then come quite a few average songs with a good one here and there. If you're a femmes' fan, you'll want it out of curiosity and for a few femmes' classics. However, they don't seem to be a band with a message or a mission anymore. They're just jamming femmes style.
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