April 17, 2008

Test Spin: Jonathan Richman

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Once the tender Velvet Underground fan who fronted the Modern Lovers, Jonathan Richman has enjoyed, over the past two decades, a fruitful career in modern adult contemporary music. In his 11th solo release, Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild, Jonathan proves he can still harness the brilliant musicianship of his younger days.
Fans of the Lovers’ classic “Pablo Picasso” will no doubt enjoy the inventive subject matter of “No One Was Like Vermeer” (also a song about a painter). Richman also provides an updated version of “Old World,” the teenage Jonathan’s meditation on ’70s culture, in which the jubilant electric guitars have been replaced with low-key acoustic strains as an aging Richman declares, “The old world’s fading fast / Oh, I must say goodbye to the old world.” You too will soon be saying goodbye to the old world during your steady climb into senescence, especially if you buy this new release from the man once known to thousands as “punk’s man-child.”