Underappreciated DEVO: Smooth Noodle Maps’ Pink Jazz Trancers

smooth-noodle-maps

DEVO’s 8th album from 1990 was titled, “Smooth Noodle Maps” and before this month’s announcement of a new album, it was their unappreciated swan song. The album, while not DEVO’s greatest work, is filled with some great songs like “Morning Dew” and my album favorite “Pink Jazz Trancers”. Which, with its driving bass and great lyrics, is a great way for any DEVO fan to start their day and, if I can make a bold suggestion, should be included on your DEVO’s greatest hits playlist.

Seriously, give it a listen and add it…

Lyrics to “Pink Jazz Trancers”

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT
I’M TELLIN’ YOU WHY
JUST WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
JUST WHEN YOU FEEL AT EASE
THAT’S WHEN YOU GET SELECTED
THAT’S WHEN THEY’LL COME YOU’LL SEE
SO MANY STRAY TRANSMISSIONS
THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO
SO MANY LIQUID RHYTHMS
THEY’D FILL A SWIMMING POOL
BEAMED FROM THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN
NOWHERE LEFT FOR YOU TO GO
THEY’LL TAKE YOU EVEN HIGHER
THEN YOU’VE EVER BEEN BEFORE
BUT THERE’S NO NEED TO WORRY
FIRST YOU’LL DIP INTO A DREAM
AND IN YOUR MIND IT’S COMING
LIKE SO MANY BRIGHT IDEAS
IT’S ALL ABOUT TO HAPPEN
IT’S WAY BEYOND FANTASTIC
IT’S USELESS TO RESIST IT
WHEN YOU’RE FINALLY HIT WITH
PINK JAZZ TRANCERS
JAZZ TRANCE FOR U
WAIT JUST FOR A MINUTE
LAY DOWN HERE NEXT TO ME
JAZZ TRANCE FOR U
NO NEED FOR YOU TO HURRY
TURN ON THE CABLE TV
JAZZ TRANCE FOR U
LET’S CLOSE OUR EYES TOGETHER
NOW CAN YOU SEE HOW GOOD IT’S GOING TO BE!

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3 thoughts on “Underappreciated DEVO: Smooth Noodle Maps’ Pink Jazz Trancers

  1. David Sutter says:

    It’s a good album. Not as good as the first five or Something for Everybody but far above Total DEVO and Shout.

    I’d say DEVO has Feelings Too is by far the best track on it, though.

  2. I was excited to see that someone wrote an article on this weird, esoteric DEVO song, but was bummed that you didn’t throw out any ideas on what the hell you think it means???

    It’s a totally different sound for them, obviously invoking modern jazz stylings with a DEVO twist.. The main beat and baseline are super simple but fun, and when the synth “transmission” kicks in it builds really nicely. Then there’s that piano solo—a DEVO first, and I gotta say in its own weird way it works beautifully.

    As far as the song meaning, all I can figure is that it’s about some weird kind of alien transmission that hypnotizes people for some unnamed purpose, and uses jazz to do it? I dunno. But for a band with a catalogue of weird songs, this is one of the weirder ones. And it kinda works.

    And to DAVID SUTTER, I agree that this is an under appreciated album, and was a welcomed come back after the “getting bad” Shout! and the “totally dismal” Total DEVO. And while I’d say that I love the evolution of their sound of Something For Everybody, if you’re just looking at the number of good/great songs on the record, Smooth Noodle Maps is actually almost it’s equal.

  3. I have been puzzling over what it means since the first time I heard it.

    My only thought was about this new sound. The idea of mixing styles and musics. I like your idea better though.

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