Artist: Barnes & Barnes

Date Released: 1983

Label: Boulevard

Produced By: Barnes & Barnes


  1. Soak It Up
  2. Before You Leave (Positive Life)
  3. Succeed
  4. Monkey Life
  5. Objectivity


The intended teaser-EP for Kodovoner, Soak It Up heralded a the new direction for Barnes & Barnes, but unlike some new directions, this worked for them very well (at least, artistically if not necessarily commercially). The title track is a great pop song with just a twist of wit and humor in the lyrics to make it stick in your brain (and the video is great, too!). "Before You Leave" was written with Mark Mothersbaugh, featuring new lyrics and a new arrangement to the song "I Desire" from DEVO's Oh, No! It's DEVO album. (This is the song that actually got me into DEVO -- I was a Barnes & Barnes fan first, and I picked up a cheap vinyl copy of Oh, No! to hear the DEVO version of this song, and ended up falling in love with that LP.) "Succeed" is basically a joke song at its core, but a surprisingly good-natured one (the hook is "I wanna see her succeed/succeed/succeed/I wanna see her suc-succeed"). "Monkey Life" is catchy, and co-written with Annerose Bücklers, who might be best known as the woman in the "Whip It" video. Finally, "Objectivity" is one of my favorite Barnes & Barnes songs, and a great pop song, and, like a lot of the tracks on this EP, while a straight-pop song, there's enough humor in the lyrics to sort of provide a bridge to the comedy fans of the first records to the full on seriousness of Kodovoner by using the comedy as a hook to get them used to the new sound. Anyway, though—this is a really great EP, and it's luckily finally available on CD, packaged with what would have been Kodovoner. Highly recommended. - Rev. Syung Myung Me

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