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X - More Fun in the New World (Cover Artwork)

X

X: More Fun in the New WorldMore Fun in the New World (1983)
Elektra

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In many ways, More Fun in the New World marks the end of X's classic run of albums. It's the last truly great X album. The last one produced by the Doors' Ray Manzarek. And, as the band's first true stab at commercial viability, the last record to sound uncompromised. Indeed, More Fun exists as a so.
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In many ways, More Fun in the New World marks the end of X's classic run of albums. It's the last truly great X album. The last one produced by the Doors' Ray Manzarek. And, as the band's first true stab at commercial viability, the last record to sound uncompromised. Indeed, More Fun exists as a sort of bridge. It's not quite as dark as the group's first three records, nor is it as unabashedly cleaned up as what came later. X tried on a few different pop moves in the '80s, and depending on your perspective, More Fun is either the weakest of the band's classic records or the best of their commercial period.

The title is actually a composite of the first two tracks, "The New World" and "We're Having Much More Fun." This opening one-two punch announces the record's m.o. Where X used to dark lyrically and threatening musically, More Fun opts for a more ironic approach. Arguably bearing more of a resemblance to Stiff Records' angry young songwriters than L.A. punk, the album weds sarcastic, even bitter words to catchy rockabilly instrumentals. Look no further than "I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" for proof of this change.

But for all the snark, X still throws in some legitimate pop moves. There's the "Breathless" cover. The Talking Heads-ish "True Love Pt. #2" is one of a few tracks touched by new wave. Sure, "Devil Doll" brings back the punk, but overall, this is a cleaner, softer album.

More Fun in the New World attempted to bring X to a wider audience, but it failed to chart accordingly. Approaching desperation, the members sought out metal producer Michael Wagener for follow-up Ain't Love Grand!. Wagener did such a terrible job that he A) effectively broke X and caused guitarist Billy Zoom to quite the band and B) made it difficult for me to believe he mixed Metallica's Master of Puppets. Up to this point, X had burned with ideas, but once they hit a wall, none of the members quite recovered creatively. As such, More Fun has a certain note of finality. The members certainly continued to put out good records later on, both with and without X, but More Fun ends the original streak.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
davebrave4 (September 24, 2012)

Thanks, I'll look into them.

swampdevil (September 23, 2012)

As for other bands there were the Knitters with Dave Alvin , a country effort that produced a great first rec....poor little critter in the road. John Doe & DJ also played w/ Dave Alvin again in backing Chris Ds Flesheaters, great songs and Chris Ds vocals & lyrics make that one a classic....check out A minute to pray , a second to die.
John Does solo work should also be mentioned , almost all of it is excellent, well worth checking out.

davebrave4 (September 22, 2012)

This album was my introduction to X, too. Back when my dad gave me his record player and gave me free reign over his albums, this was one of the few punk records he owned (along with a Lou Reed album and Patti Smith's "Horses"). I couldn't get into it when I was younger, but I like it a lot now that I've acquired a taste for the rockabilly aspects of the album.

Your last paragraph mentions that the members' other endeavors were good as well. What other bands were they in?

DrGunn (September 21, 2012)

4 stars seems pretty accurate. i think it's a really fun, well-written album straight through, but lacks a bit in standout songs.

eatbicycles (September 21, 2012)

The first four songs on this thing are unimpeachable, but the rest is ok. Totally worth buying the record for such a great A-side.

ollywood (September 21, 2012)

Thanks for the history lesson(seriously) and great retroview(I just made up a word). This was actually my entrance into X about 10 years ago when i checked it out at the library and I found them to be an acquired taste, that said, this album grew on me and I do think quite fondly of it 3.5/5 from me. Seeing them about 4 years ago with Filthy Thieving Bastards open was a lot of fun.

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