byrne/eno drop

Embedded player for the new David Byrne + Briane Eno album:

Byrne’s comment on the site:

For the most part, Brian did the music and I wrote some tunes, words and sang.

I like this music.

When I first listened to this via the embedded player I had a hard time getting over my distrust of David Byrne’s post-peak output. Eno’s 70s releases are lifetime favorites for me, and I have a lot of respect for earlier Talking Heads, but Byrne’s stuff in the last 10-15 years is cringeworthy. I’ve gotten to like Byrne’s blogging, though, so this has redeemed him enough for me to be open to his new music.

So I gave this a long listen, going around the whole CD twice with headphone on. As you’d expect from Eno, it’s sonically delicious. It’s mainly warm and organic in the style of these guys’ later work, rather than cool and deliberately stiff in their early styles; IMO that’s a loss, but you can’t go back and doing what you really feel is always the right thing. Still, I’d have loved to hear Robert Fripp’s guitar. Eno’s vocals are strained in a bad way, Byrne’s are strained in a good way. The only spots that fall flat are when Eno is singing.

The packaging and presentation are user-friendly. For example there are FLAC files. I found myself rooting for them.

9 thoughts on “byrne/eno drop

  1. Just checking out this new album, so no comments on it yet.

    But, I am surprised you’re so down on Bryne’s more recent albums. Of the things he’s done, I am most down on the last few Talking Heads albums–which I found to be very unfulfilling after the first few albums.

    But, I hold Bryne’s recent albums in pretty high regard. I definitely was not disposed to get into them at first, but they really won me over.

    Not that I assume we’d consistently agree on things like this–but just surprised you’re suggesting those albums are so totally awful.

  2. Definitely agree on last couple Talking Heads records. The suck for sure.

    His more recent stuff has felt uninspired to me. Just no fun.

  3. I agree. Don’t know if you’ve spent much time with Look into the Eyeball, but I think that one’s an as strong a synthesis of Byrne’s constant influences (world music, mundane americana, soul, etc.) as he’s put together since the early Talking Heads records. Besides Eno’s aqueous production (which I also really love), this record is totally of a piece with Eyeball. If you find yourself enjoying this one, you should give Eyeball another shot.

  4. Nice review Lucas, agree on nearly all counts. It has an warm, lush sound. Byrne still has good ideas. His post-Heads singing cadence has this measured feel I enjoy, it’s almost meditative.

    What stands out for me with Eno are the albums he produced on, like U2’s Achtung Baby. Though, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is still a fave.

    I like this track. Brings to mind ‘Heaven’ by Talking Heads, and maybe ‘This Must Be the Place’ on the lyrics.

  5. Comment fix:
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    Thanks for motivating me to do it, kev.

    You ever hear “Look into the Eyeball”?

  6. No, haven’t listened to it. How’d it hit you?

    Couldn’t find samples of it at Amazon, iTunes doesn’t have the album …’s got something from it, will check it out.

  7. Interesting … I kinda like it. Takes me a few listens to synchronize with a David Byrne opus, so ask me again next time we talk.

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