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NEW Violent Femmes - New Times (CD)

3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.53
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Violent Femmes ~ New Times

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars First song was great, but what happend then??? May 14 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The Femmes kick this album off right, with "Don't Start Me on the Liquor". A catchy, up-tempo song with that same vintage Femmes sound that we all know and love from their self-titled debut. This track also showcases the remarkable bass playing abilities of Mr. Brian Ritchie. (Possibly one of the most under-rated bass players in rock music!) Unfortunately I was a bit let down after that song, because the album takes on a completely different direction. It's a new wave kind of vibe featuring synthesizers and some other obscure instruments. I wonder if the lead off track was an older song that they had never released, and then just decided to put it out then since they were doing another record. As a fan of the band I can respect that they were trying something new, but unfortunately it didn't work well on this record.
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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
New Times is an entirely appropriate title for this most eclectic of albums from a most eclectic band. The Violent Femmes have changed quite visibly with the exit of Victor DeLorenzo and the entrance of Guy Hoffman on drums. I'll admit it took a few listens for this CD to really start appealing to me. There is a lot of experimental stuff going on here, with individual songs sometimes going off in about three distinct directions over the course of four or five minutes. The overall sound is markedly different in several places from what the Violent Femmes had done up to this point, with drums and deep bass beats often giving rise to a substantive, weighty atmosphere of surrealism and implicit melancholia. The guys have long played around with unique musical jam sessions of high strangeness, but they really indulge themselves on New Times. A number of instruments I haven't even heard of (e.g., noseflute, tranceaphone, theremin, baglama) figure large in the music. Several songs end with extended periods of cacophonous orgies of sound, but the most unusual of all selections is the song Machine. Here, Gano recites unusual lyrics about building a machine to take over the world while something akin to electronic synthesizers pushes the song along; much more than throwaway experimentation, Machine does offer a serious message roiling around in its deep undercurrents of frustration. Agamemnon is another unusual song, ending with Gano literally shouting in the background.
There really are some great songs included on this CD. Don't Start Me on the Liquor is a typically fun Violent Femmes opening number. New Times, Breakin' Up, and 4 Seasons have a modernized yet vintage Femmes sound to them. I'm Nothin' is spectacular, foregoing everything except Gano's voice and guitar in its presentation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special but still classic Femmes. July 15 2002
Format:Audio CD
This was the first album released after the retrospective compilation, Add It Up. It has that classic Femmes sound, acoustic-based songs with the simplest of instrumentation all tied together by Gordon Gano's timid teenage boy voice and laugh-a-minute lyrics. It lacks the youthful spark of earlier Femmes albums, but I think most fans would still be satisfied with it. "Breakin' Up", "4 Seasons", "Machine", and "I Saw You In The Crowd" are probably the best tracks on the album.
"Machine" is truly one of the most hilarious songs I've ever heard. It has really bad drum machine and synth sounds that are accented by Gordon's deadpan delivery (he actually just speaks rather than singing) of the following lyrics: "I got a machine and I took over the world in one weekend. I did it because I was looking for a project, and it was either take over the world or learn French. So I took over the world. And next weekend, I can learn French." The lyrics are repeated over and over and pretty soon there's a robot voice chiming in and saying them too. It just has to be heard to be believed. We always knew the Femmes had a great sense of humor, but this cracks me up more than anything.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Violent Femmes go industrial. Oct. 20 2001
Format:Audio CD
Oftentimes coupled with the CD single "Machine", New Times is a Violent Femmes album offering a more industrial approach to folk punk rock. At the same time, none of the original VF flavor is lost - more industrial songs such as "Agamemnon" and "Machine" are countered with classic Femmes such as "Don't Start Me On The Liquor" and "Mirror Mirror (I See a Damsel)".

This is one of the first CDs of the "new", more 90's-like VF. Such transition must not go unnoticed and, therefore, I recommend it to any VF fan out there.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hodgepodge Femmes (sans Femmes soul) Dec 21 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Actually, I give it three and three-quarters stars!
For some reason the personalities of the Violent Femmes band members are produced right out of this album. What you have left is a collection of Femmes' songs without the character of the band members. You get the ingeniously sloppy instrumentation and witty and wonderful lyrics but you don't get them! It's like the Femmes with very little of their soul--which is why "Machine" may be an appropriate title for this collection. It is indeed the Violent Femmes Machine at work again. But where are the guys? The songs hold up alright individually, but as the album lacks the presence of the members and no central theme to hold the songs together, listener fatigue becomes a factor.
"Don't Start Me on the Liquor" is a masterful, classic full-power old-time-blues-influenced tune which, after being cranked up about ten times, stays inside you forever.
"New Times" starts "Good morning. Good morning" and as it is the title cut, I can't understand why it doesn't begin the album. Did they think "Don't Start Me on the Liquor" was going to be a hit single? Great lyrics about modern life and lots of shifts of direction. They even sound like "Yes" in the jam!
"Breaking Up" didn't sustain my interest for many listenings. Vocals are interesting and the band really cuts loose in the middle, but somehow the song just lost steam for me.
"Key of 2" retained my interest, though. A great rocker set in a prison about a prison band...
"4 Seasons" sounds like a throw-away tune brought back to life. The Femmes using a sound effector to create the guitar's sound is apparent on this track, adding to the "Machine" feel.
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