Thursday, March 18, 2010

Camper Van Beethoven • Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart

NOTE: I am going to be posting some of the reviews I did "back in the day," most notably from my time at The Rocket, a Seattle music magazine (now defunct) and some other places I did reviews and articles for. At some point I will have a clever category name for these types of reviews. For now, just enjoy.

Here we have the fourth full-length recording from the Campers, and the best since their first. While this album is not as silly as Telephone Free Landslide Victory, the songs are still funny, and say something deeper than the pap that passes as pop these days.

Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart boasts a non-murky production, sparse enough to let the band's unique instrumentation take full advantage of the space it needs to breathe. "Eye of Fatima" is a mid-tempo Camper workout with all the right elements, and "Turquoise Jewelry" sports the already-legendary line "take off that jumpsuit/you look like Grace Slick."

Not a huge leap for Camper Van Beethoven, OBRS carries more of a punch than their previous releases, and won't leave them in the novelty song bargain bin—a place they might have ended up after such quintessential bids as "Where the Hell Is Bill?" and "Take the Skinheads Bowling." They're great songs, yeah, but so is just about everything on OBRS. It should be purchased immediately (to ensure freshness) before we get too far into summer, the season that was made for Camper Van Beethoven.
(from The Rocket, July 1988)

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