Talking Heads - Fear Of Music (Vinyl) Embossed Cover

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This disc represents the bridge between Talking Heads' first two herky-jerkier albums and the next two funky ones. Fear of Music is more than just a bridge, though. It's the water under the bridge, the air, the animals, the cities the river flows through, and the heaven on top of it all: "...a place where nothing ever happens." Plenty happens here, however. The CD starts out with its feet off the ground and both arms in the air: "I Zimbra" is all-out celebration. The rest of the songs are pretty much exercises in simplicity: one-word titles with music to match. (Witness the lightness of "Air", the trippiness of "Drugs", the "ooga"-ness of "Animals".) David Byrne's artful naiveté ("Hold the paper up to the light/Some rays pass right through"), coupled with the whole band's musical playfulness (for example, the tuba on "Electric Guitar"), makes for fun fun fun.

Even though most people see Remain in Light as Talking Heads's masterpiece, Fear of Music was the album that really got me into the group, and it's surely my favorite. You can already see them moving into the dense, atmospheric style of Remain in Light, with producer Brian Eno's influence becoming more prominent, but their pop sensibilities are as strong as ever, and the album features a number of great songs with the band really showing us everything they could do. David Byrne's just as quirky and weird as ever, but his lyrics are better here than anywhere else. Much of the lovable, teenage awkwardness from the first two albums is gone, but replaced by a sense of confidence, with Byrne tackling issues such as the energy crisis, pollution, and censorship in music, but also have a lot of fun in other places. My favorite song on the album is Mind, which is all kinds of fun, and that fun just continues on funky numbers like Life During Wartime and Cities. Even when the band is doing something more akin to just plain rock such as Paper or Memories Can't Wait the results are excellent. The more minimal electronic Drugs is another treat, and who can forget the opener, I Zimbra, sung entirely in Swahili, and hinting at the sound of Remain in Light. Heaven is also a nice semi-ballad, which isn't exactly what you would expect from the group. Electric Guitar rocks, and Air has some glorious moments, but nothing on the album disappoints in the least. It may not have the mind blowing sound of its successor, but Fear of Music doesn't need it. A greater set of songs is hard to find.

By: MoeHartman

A1 I Zimbra
A2 Mind
A3 Paper
A4 Cities
A5 Life During Wartime
A6 Memories Can't Wait
B1 Air
B2 Heaven
B3 Animals
B4 Electric Guitar
B5 Drugs


Cat No:  R1 6076

Record Label : Sire