This CD offers the casual devo-tee a chance to really understand the evolution of the de-evolution band. By sandwiching the immediate predecessor and immediate progeny of "Freedom of Choice," the listener can truly understand how Freedom Of Choice is the missing link between organic Devo (Duty Now for the Future) and synthetic Devo (New Traditionalists).
"Duty Now For The Future" was Devo's apocalyptic warning against a wiggly world taken over by corporate culture; by the time "New Traditionalists" came out, the members of Devo had been fully re-programmed to trumpet the coming of a Brave New World.
Or had they?
Songs like "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA," "Devo Corporate Anthem," "Clockout" and "Blockhead" were harbingers of a "one-size-fits all" universe that came to fruition with "Freedom of Choice," though the spudboys by that time all chose to march in energy-dome topped-off lockstep.
"New Traditionalists" was Devo's reclaiming of pop culture, fending off punks, puritans, hippies, and hausfraus with rolling pins. With their action vests, they fended off dangerous human elements who threatened the Status Quo with devolved thinking. The world is a much simpler and easy to understand place, when your head is shielded with a vacu-plastic pompadour to ward off the daddy zeroes.
But, there is a premonition of revolt in such songs from "New Traditionalists" as "Beautiful World" (for YOU; IT'S NOT FOR ME), "Through Being Cool" and "Going Under." "Working in a Coal Mine" was Devo's attempt at nostalgia as only they could understand it; disembodied computer-synth hu-boon vocals over steel guitar. It really takes a great swipe at all the MOR so-called "blues" artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton.
Devo never sold out, they just constantly repackaged themselves.