The Modern Lovers album cover
The Modern Lovers

The Modern Lovers

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For the rest of his career, Richman leaned into his “First time I’m hearing of this!” charm and goofy-ass striped shirts that looked too young on him when he was twenty-one, when the Modern Lovers debut was recorded in 1972. He said “bye bye, old world,” and the band, very specifically drummer David Robison of future Cars fame, gave him a machine heft his stand-up philosophy never had again. Richman worshiped the Velvet Underground, but I hear Neu! and The Stooges, without knowing what Richman and the band thought of either. It is a rare blend of raw and direct and gentle and rock hard. Richman is very hard to dismiss as a singer. How could he not mean it? His combo of naivete and relentlessness is too annoying to fake, and too winning to be annoyed by.

Sasha Frere-Jones

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