New Roman Times - Camper Van Beethoven
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: A concept album set in an alternate version of the U.S. where the states are actually countries, 'New Roman Times' marks the first studio album in 15 years for the newly-reunited California band.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. 83
    A sweetly embittered geopolitical epic. [Dec 2004, p.124]
  2. 80
    The band's trademark cracked songcraft... is here in spades. [Nov 2004, p.99]
  3. Camper's new work is not only as strong as ever, but also more relevant than ever before.
  4. Despite some failures on the story-telling side, New Roman Times is a fantastic disc if you already happen to be a Camper Van Beethoven fan.
  5. While the dizzying mix of musical styles and absurdist lyrics is still there, Camper are a much more skilled, mature band.
  6. An entertaining mishmash of off-kilter, raw and psychedelia-tinged rockers, jazz fusion-like instrumentals, gypsy-styled dance tracks and country hoedowns and pedal-steel twang.
  7. 30
    Fails on multiple fronts. [Dec 2004, p.116]

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. debh
    Feb 18, 2005
    I had no doubts when I first heard that Camper came out with a new recording. Thinking what of how they sounded, and played, when I last saw them ...... oh so many years ago . I was impressed then, and I am impressed now. Thank you gentlemen for this recording. I am one happy Hippy Chick Collapse
  2. RobW
    Oct 16, 2004
    Everything you could hope for from Camper Van Beethoven---fantastic lyrical imagery and musicianship ranging from ska to countrified pop songs. Long live Camper Van Beethoven. Expand
  3. markf
    Oct 14, 2004
    I'm not going to waste time attacking the clueless reviewers. This ranks as good as anything CVB has ever done, and I saw them when they played at a San Jose Mexican restaurant LOUNGE selling t-shirts out of their briefcases. Yes, it does start off a bit on the prog-side (when CVB split, Lowery went Cracker, and everybody else went into the Monks of Doom, who were much more prog than anything here, plus anybody who disses Cracker is a jerk.) There are so many awesome songs on this thing. "That Gum You Like is Back in Style" and "New Roman Times" are twin beauties with sweet vocals, violin and steel guitar which tell chillingly different stories. "Militia Song" sounds like Americana heaven, "The Long Plastic Hallway" is a truly GREAT rock song, "Civil Disobedience" and "Hey Brother" both bring chills, both musically and lyrically. I'm sure glad this came out before the election. Their psychedelic side is best revealed through a "suite" of four freak-outs, "I am Talking to This Flower", "Come Out", "Los Tigres Traficantes" and "I Hate This Part of Texas." This isn't really smart-ass or silly. It's a very loud wake up call because in another three weeks, it will be too late unless we're thrown into another "national nightmare" caused by a Presidential election. Whatever your politics, you should be able to enjoy the vast range and solid craftsmanship of these guys. Anybody who doesn't like "That Gum..." needs a soul transplant. Peace. Expand
  4. kattlb
    Dec 2, 2004
    a really smart spin on what the world has become
  5. db
    Oct 15, 2004
    Starts like a Cracker record and finishes like Camper. I am hoping for a little more orchestrated chaotic abandon(oh, the irony) on there next effort or perhaps a punk polka opera. There is definately more juice to be had from the Camper tree. Juicy Expand
  6. jamesw
    Nov 16, 2004
    I won't waste your time commenting on how some reviewers think CVB are the next savior or something and picking apart every little spec of inference or meaning from all things Camper(Cracker, Monks, etc). I like Camper and I like this record. It is a few steps away from a classic, but pretty good. I saw them play live, with loaned equipment and was impressed. I had seen them before(5 times) and this show ranks right up there. I look forward to more aggressive, provoking records. Expand