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Surrender to Jonathan

Jonathan Richman

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Album Review

Surrender to Jonathan was Richman's return to a major label, and he constructed the album as a showcase of his finest, or at least most notorious, songs of the early '90s. "Egyptian Reggae" and "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar" are hauled out of the woodwork and given moderately polished reworkings by Andy Paley. Even with the slicker sound, Jonathan remains Jonathan, and no amount of studio polish can erase the fact that his goofball, naive pop is better-suited for small clubs than records. There are a couple of worthy additions to his set list, "Not Just a 'Plus One' on the Guest List Anymore" and "Surrender," but Surrender to Jonathan remains a marginal effort.

Customer Reviews

One of my favorites

This is a hidden jem. Despite the goofy cover, this album is packed with outstanding pop songs that soar with Jonathan Richman's unique style, wit, humor and lyrical mastery. Sure, the instrumentation is minimalist, but it is brazingly effective. Just listen to the horn section on "French Style" or the guitar comping and rough & ready solos on "I Was Dancing In the Lesbian Bar". "Surrender" is a simply a pop masterpiece that states the plain facts of love. "To Hide a Little Thought" has some of the most compelling lyrical ideas I've heard, as does "Just Look at Me" which harkins the effects a recently lost love has had on it's receiver. I love this record and find myself coming back to it again & again.

Biography

Born: May 15, 1951 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jonathan Richman was one of rock's most eccentric and unpredictable cult figures, a performer whose eternally childlike public persona and seeming naiveté — typified by songs like "Ice Cream Man," "Hey There Little Insect" and "I'm a Little Aeroplane" — tended to obscure the dexterity and craft of his music, which skirted from garage rock to country to Latin stylings and back. Born May 15, 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts, Richman began playing guitar at the age of 15, and within a year...
Full Bio

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