Dum-di-dum-di dum-dum-a-dum-day, whoa-oh, New England! Technically Jonathan Richman’s first release (The Modern Lovers’ famed self-titled was finally released by Beserkley Records a month later), Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers sees Richman move away from the Velvet Underground-influenced proto-punk of the original lineup towards a 1950’s pop sound. After moving from his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts to California, Jonathan assembled a new lineup consisting of original member David Robinson (The Cars), Greg ‘Curly’ Keranen (The Rubinoos), and Leroy Radcliffe, focusing on making quieter music (Jonathan would later switch over to a full acoustic lineup, citing hearing issues). Containing original songs, "New England," "Lonely Financial Zone," and "Abominable Snowman in the Market," as well as covers of Chuck Berry’s "Back in the U.S.A." and an interpolation of "Amazing Grace," Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers is a must-have for fans of the hyper-influential, quirky singer-songwriter. Major props to Omnivore Recordings for giving this record a much needed reissue. 11 tracks on black vinyl.
reviewed by SHH! 08/2022