Byrne & Eno get back together to work on some of Eno’s spare instrumental tracks that Byrne put lyrics to (read the liner notes if you want the whole story). Elaborate production but not the ambient weirdness you’d expect from Eno. Goes from melodic songs to electronic beats. Byrnes lush vocals fill up every track.
FCC Violation on track 2
***1. (5:06) Strumming guitar and electronic noises with Byrne’s anthematic vocals.
2. (3:19) FCC warming: audible swear word. Guitar and piano backbone to ballad with a country/ western feel.
3. (6:24) Dissonant piano notes and tribal beats hold up xenophobic sing-speak verses and chanting choruses. The talk-rap fails to deliver even when boosted by guitar power chords.
***4. (3:43) Strummed electric guitar and tinkling piano keys segue into melodic verses and big choruses.
5. (3:43) Funky rhythms and multi-layered instrumentation sound tastefully and self-reflectively dated.
6. (2:26) Feels very Talking Heads. Tale of everyman sung over multi-tracked instrumentation.
***7. (4:16) Self-reflection about the disco rhythm “This groove is out of fashion. These beats are 20 years old. The single if there was one.” Don’t shy away just because it’s got catchy sing-a-long choruses.
8. (5:06) Downbeat electronic beats, the most head-boppin’ of the album. Harmonized choruses and big, full sound.
***9. (4:54) Melodic vocals over a steady beat and strummed guitars.
10. (4:17) Aggressive electronic beats and noise with synth-altered vocals of Byrne switch from high to low and left to right. Electronic sounding horns punch it up.
11. (3:46) The big, sweeping, melodic ender.