Look Into the Eyeball
Before I get into this review, I should make clear that while I consider myself a big Talking Heads fan, I haven•t followed former frontman David Byrne•s solo career too closely, so if you•re expecting an in depth analysis of •Byrne • The Solo Years,• I•m afraid I•ll have to disappoint you. That said, I•m quite pleased to have a copy of Byrne•s latest, Look Into the Eyeball, as I think just about any Talking Heads fan would be. The music here is very reminiscent of some of that band•s latter day work, but contains a lot of overt world music elements that help to take things in a far different direction. Overall, it makes for a more danceable feel than Talking Heads were known for • check out the easy groove of •Like Humans Do• or the chamber disco en Español of •Desconocido Soy• (with guest vocals from NRÜ of Café Tacuba), for just two examples. The dominant use of strings throughout the album, especially on songs like •Neighborhood• and •Smile,• further sets Byrne•s solo material apart • he•s doing things here that aren•t being widely done, but it•s all very accessible and comfortable. Still, a song like •U.B. Jesus,• with its faux-gospel backing vocals, certainly recalls Heads material like •Road To Nowhere,• and of course, the main connection you•ll draw back to Talking Heads is in Byrne•s distinctive vocals, still in fine form. In all, it•s a strong effort, and one that any Talking Heads fan • or anyone that•s looking for a nice change of pace from much of the canned, stale music meeting with radio success today — will be glad to add to their collection.