INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Rolling Stone JANUARY 2004 - by Gavin Edwards
THE GREATEST ALBUMS EVER MADE
Talking Heads REMAIN IN LIGHT
"I hoped it wouldn't have that same sense of paranoia that some of the previous records did," David Byrne said of Remain In Light. "Almost all the vocals we put on it have to do with one kind of religious experience or another." Which meant that Talking Heads' fourth album didn't have as many jokes as their earlier records did. It also meant that the band no longer sounded twitchy and over-caffeinated; it made music that was confident and fluid. The Heads had already mastered minimalist funk, but here they built jams around thick, slurred rhythms, with additional musical contributions from producer Brian Eno. Byrne claimed a heavy African influence on the music, although the other Heads disputed that, saying he didn't mention it until after they finished recording. On an album that hardly pauses for breath, the highlights are constant: the twiddling synth in Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), the stuttering bass line in Once In A Lifetime. Byrne's spiel about the facts on Crosseyed And Painless ("Facts all come with points of view / Facts don't do what you want them to") is one of the earliest raps on a rock LP, and still one of the most distinctive. The first part of the album is all relentless energy; the second is slower and blurrier, about people searching for things that they've lost. Bridging the two halves is Once In A Lifetime, which distills material excess, polyrhythmic guitars and the cadences of televangelists into an anthem for anyone who has ever woken up feeling like they're in the wrong place.