Up to a point, I admire the Knack’s polish and professionalism, as well as its ability to soak up influences, but most of the lyrics here are sexist, sophomoric, or both—and that’s not the biggest problem on their new …But the Little Girls Understand.
Instead of building on the work of their excellent sources and creating something new, the Knack merely string together blatant quotes from a series of progenitors. The production and music on “The Feeling I Get,” for example, sound like a direct steal from Phil Spector and, more specifically, the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me.” “Tell Me You’re Mine” and “(Havin’ a) Rave Up,” meanwhile, draw heavily on Buddy Holly and the Beatles (and the latter takes its title from a Yardbirds LP). The list of stolen moments goes on and on; in fact, you can make a rather interesting game of trying to find them all. You can also garner some pleasure from the music itself, but probably not enough to explain the Knack’s popularity or justify this album’s purchase.