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The Romantics

The Romantics

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Album Review

At its best, the Romantics' self-titled debut album sounds like the greatest album Shel Talmy never produced. The Detroit band's British Invasion-style power pop may not have been an especially original creation, but it was good enough that no one with a taste for high-voltage hooks would ever dream of complaining, and as a meeting of mid-'60s style and late-'70s volume and passion, it's all but flawless. The original songs, written by guitarists Wally Palmar and Mike Skill and drummer Jimmy Marinos, are a glorious pastiche of period pop styles (think the Kinks and the Easybeats with a bit of the Hollies thrown in for melodic appeal) played with a hard-stomping energy and a genuine love for the vintage style that doesn't reek of nostalgia. The production by Peter Solley is simple but smart enough to put both the hooks at the energy up front where they belong, and the Romantics never had a set of tunes this strong again; "What I Like About You" richly deserved its status as a hit single, and "When I Look in Your Eyes," "Tell It to Carrie" and "Girl Next Door" would have followed it up the charts in a just world. the Romantics didn't exactly reinvent the wheel with this album, but they sure knew how to make it roll, and for sheer party enhancing energy, this album is hard to beat.

Customer Reviews

Classic (If Homogeneous) Power Pop

The Romantics fashioned a classic power pop sound out of the post-Revolver/early Kinks sound that was steeped in catchy, twangy guitar with a melodic approach to the vocals and harmonies. This album has some wonderful, forgotten moments like "Tell It To Carrie" and "First In Line". "What I Like About You" is an unrefutable classic, but that does not forgive the Romantics for re-writing it three or four times on this album. In fact, for all intents and purposes, "When I Look In Your Eyes," Hung On You," and "Gimme One More Chance" sound almost EXACTLY like "What I LIke About You," a song that is really just an inspired reinterpretation of the Kinks "You Really Got Me Now". I'd recommend buying track by track to escape the general homogeneity of this album.

Just one song? No way!

I bought this album when it first came out....long before "What I LIke About You" was a hit. "When I Look In Your Eyes" was the song I bought it for. I played the first side of the album until I wore it out. About 5 years later, Budweiser made "What I Like About You" a hit. That's when I flipped it over and discovered a gem like "Till I See You Again". If you're here to download just the one song, that's a mistake. You owe it to yourself to discover the whole record.

Totally 80"s

This album sums up 80's new wave power pop for me. Although originally released in 1979 on Nemperor Records, the Romantics finally made their "national breakout" in the early 80"s. I've still got the vinyl, well worn from lots of dance parties. I listen to a few of the tracks on my iPod while working out in doors over the long cold Wisconsin winters. Towards the end of a long treadmill session try "Girl Next Door" to help you finish strong. From start to finish the tight harmonies and jangly guitar riffs are sure to please.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s

Such power pop founders as the Raspberries and Big Star may have been woefully underappreciated during their initial run in the early '70s, but by the end of the decade, several of their offspring had taken the style to the upper reaches of the charts — including Cheap Trick, the Knack, and the Romantics. But what set the group apart from their similarly styled peers was their inheritance of the high-energy attack of their Detroit forefathers, as well as their affinity for bouffant hairstyles...
Full Bio

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