1988, Music

Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988) by Camper Van Beethoven

Perhaps for the first time they acknowledge their debt to Kaleidoscope by covering a song Kaleidoscope covered (“O Death”). If I didn’t think these guys were the ’80s College Rock Kaleidoscope before, I do now.

The previous album was weirder than ever before, which was both a good and a bad thing. It was overly long and not consistent enough, but it suggested a different path. However, for whatever reason, they have reigned in the experimentation a tad and tried to make something perhaps a little more accessible (for them).

In many fundamental respects, this remains the same band – though their ambition does seem to be tempered somewhat – they combine a bunch of disparate influences from music from all over the world and combine it into something that basically resembles Alternative Rock. But the genre-hopping is less obvious now, as it appears that more often than not they are trying to write rock and folk songs that incorporate these influences. There’s growth in the lyrical department; there are fewer jokes and there are more earnest (or seemingly earnest) songs .

But on the whole it doesn’t grab me like past records did. It does feel like a step towards more traditional alternative rock “respectability” (or whatever you want to call aligning yourself closer to the sound of everyone else) and this feels like a concession to me. It’s also less interesting. And given that Lowrey is not the greatest singers ever, that’s a problem.


All tracks written by Camper Van Beethoven, except as noted.

  1. “Eye of Fatima (Part One)” 2:37
  2. “Eye of Fatima (Part Two)” 2:17
  3. “O Death” (Traditional, arranged by Camper Van Beethoven) 3:07
  4. “She Divines Water” 3:52
  5. “Devil Song” 1:59
  6. “One of These Days” 3:27
  7. “Turquoise Jewelry” 3:07
  8. “Waka” 2:46
  9. “Change Your Mind” 3:03
  10. “My Path Belated” 2:35
  11. “Never Go Back” 3:25
  12. “The Fool” 2:37
  13. “Tania” 3:48
  14. “Life Is Grand” 3:23
  • David Lowery: Guitar, Vocal
  • Jonathan Segel: Fiddle, Keyboards, Mandolin, Guitar, Cittern
  • Greg Lisher: Guitar
  • Victor Krummenacher: Bass
  • Chris Pedersen: Drums

Additional Musicians:

  • Katl B. Traler: trombone
  • Dave Costanza: trumpet
  • Davey Faragher: vocals
  • C. “Dixie” Kupps: harmonica, sampling, bells
  • Hammer Smith: harmonica

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