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David Byrne – American Utopia


Thrown in with the awesome G N’ R LP set (for my birthday) was this newest Byrne CD, which James says he received when Byrne cancelled his Regina show… 2 tickets meant 2 CDs, so I get one! Bonus!

I Dance Like This opens the album with a crazy juxtaposition between gentle twee pop and some sort of robotic German-sounding techno. Haha awesome. Honestly, the whole album sounds like an art pop installation piece, instrumentations ranging from simple piano to world beat electronics, and 80s dance pop to string orchestras thrown in for good measure (I loved Doing The Right Thing). It’s Byrne’s voice that holds it together, though. I found my ear hanging on to everything he said, never quite sure what he was going to say next, loving the poetry of it…

What’s most apparent here is the willingness to experiment, to fearlessly create atmosphere, and to embrace simplicity as much as more complex arrangements, anything to best serve the songs.

I wasn’t sure I was gonna dig this, but the longer I listened, the more I fell in love! I can guarantee that future listens will reveal even more, too.



I got reading about this afterwards, and was totally unsurprised by this: “The album is part of a larger multimedia project titled Reasons to Be Cheerful which aims to give reasons for being happy and optimistic in spite of political strife and environmental problems. The title is derived from the Ian Dury song “Reasons to Be Cheerful (Part 3).” (Wiki)

I was surprised, though, that Everybody’s Coming To My House was the first single. Maybe not the first track I would have picked from this record, but hey, nobody ever asks me, eh? 

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