More than three decades after its original release, the Modern Lovers’ self-titled debut retains its visceral power with a disarming straightforwardness. “Roadrunner”, Jonathan Richman’s celebration of AM radio in a car, is the perfect opener as the song gets pushed into fifth gear by his guitar and Jerry Harrison’s organ. The edgy “She Cracked” and the plaintive “Hospital” acknowledge the band’s debt to the Velvet Underground; Richman’s voice had a limited range, but he could sound defiant on the former and mournful on the latter, much like Lou Reed. Richman and founding VU member John Cale, who produced the majority of the original album, collaborated on the sneering “Pablo Picasso”. Drummer David Robinson and bassist Ernie Brooks are a stellar rhythm section throughout. The reissue adds eight tracks, including “Dignified And Old” and “Government Center”, early indicators of the softer direction Richman would follow. Recorded in the early 1970s, the original nine tracks can be heard today as a precursor to punk with their inspirational minimalism.