Friday, August 27, 2010

382. More Songs About Buildings and Food. Not many songs about buildings and less about food.


Album: More songs about Buildings and Food.

Artist: Talking Heads.

Year: 1978

Genre: Art Rock.


Tracks

  1. Thank You for Sending Me an Angel
  2. With Our Love
  3. The Good Thing
  4. Warning Sign
  5. The Girls Want to Be With the Girls
  6. Found a Job
  7. Artists Only
  8. I'm Not in Love
  9. Stay Hungry
  10. Take Me to the River
  11. The Big Country


The name of this album is “More songs about buildings and food” which may lead you to believe that Talking heads have a prior history involving tunes about constructions and yummy things. You’d be forgiven for thinking that in the past they’d recorded tracks called “Blocks of flats with blocks of cheese”. "Two slices of bread and a slice of shed" and "Olive coloured houses with olive coloured olives". In fact this isn’t the case. The Talking Heads back catalogue contains few, if any, songs about buildings and food and More Songs about Buildings and Food doesn’t contain any songs about buildings or food. All of which says more about Talking heads than I ever could in a review.

While the title of the album isn’t really all that appropriate the band itself seems very appropriately named. The majority of the vocals on More Songs are basically just spoken by David Byrne. He doesn’t so much sing as chat. But his vocals aren’t the dulcet tones of the trained news reader or radio announcer. He doesn’t possess the richness of a Tom Waits or the depth of a James Earl Jones. He’s possessed more of the voice of the possessed. It’s an other worldly voice- it’s tones aren’t so much earthy as marsy, or possibly plutoey. It’s the voice of the mad guy who sits next to you on the train and tries to persuade you that not only have the aliens landed but they’ve established themselves as recording artists and started to release albums. It’s just a bit too sing-song to be truly spoken and a lot too monotone to be actual singing. Whatever it is your reaction is going to determine your appreciation of not just this album but the entire Talking Heads collection. If you’re a fan of Byrne’s voice (perhaps you’re from his home planet) then this is probably a great album. If he grates on you then it’s a fairly challenging listen.

The most accessible song on this album is a cover of Take me to the river, which used to be a pop standard but is now better known for it’s renditions by battery powered fish. The rest of the album shows a clear Brian Eno influence (he produced it) and if you're a fan of his stuff then you'll probably like this. If not you're best advised to keep away.

Highlight: The Big Country

Lowlight: Warning Sign

Influenced by: Art rock and Al Green

Influenced: Jonothan Ross.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "I've never heard the album, so i cant rate it, and im not a fan of talking heads, but the title sounds like the old Undertones song "More songs about chocolate and girls".

-Yes. That's why amazon have a customer review rating system. So you can log on and give a release one star even though you've never heard it.


So do you want more songs about buildings and food or less? Let me know below.

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