INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Rock Scene DECEMBER 1978 - by Steve Demorest
TALKING HEADS: MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDINGS AND FOOD
What a feast for the ears! This second Talking Heads album demonstrates two exciting improvements over their debut LP: an incredibly varied Christmas stocking of production effects they've achieved with Brian Eno, and the ripening of one of the tightest, most terrifically pressurized rhythm sections in pop music.
David Byrne still writes some of the most interesting melodic configurations around, and his lunging vocals are as shrill as ever. (This has to be the tensest band in the world.) A few scattered pleasures: With Our Love positively percolates, and the lovely synthesizer in the background is a nice surprise. Tina's singing is another pleasant surprise on The Good Thing - how about having her sing lead on a disco single some day? I love how Eno rhythm-generates the opening of Warning Sign; nice whooshes and warps too; also, see if you can hear David's keys jingling toward the end of the track. The Girls Want To Be With The Girls: I miss the old chorus, which was more dramatic than the current version. Great atmospherics on the punchy Artists Only, the first TH song with feedback. I'm Not In Love starts barrelling along like a Bryan Ferry rocker. Stay Hungry is one of their prettiest songs ever, Jerry Harrison bubbling over the top and Eno shading it with melancholy. I love the dreamy, endless slide riff of The Big Country.
All in all, a brilliant collection of sounds, and some of tbe funkiest white music going. Still, I miss the love songs that contributed so much buoyancy to Talking Heads 77. Just as Alfred Hitchcock knows you need comic relief to make a suspense movie bearable, I think the Heads need numbers (The Big Country is one such) that occasionally release the tight-wound detachment that is their forte. Like, how about The Ballad of Richard Herrin - about the Yalie who hammered his unfaithful girlfriend to death in her sleep at her parents' house. Now that's true love!