Saturday, February 28, 2004

#59) Talking Heads - Fear Of Music (released in 1979, I got this on CD in 6th or 7th grade)

Since I first saw David Byrne sweating profusely and karate chopping his own arm on MTV as a wee tot, the Talking Heads have always appealed to me (my favorite muppet was Gonzo and my favorite word was "weird" so I was an easy sell). Back when they actually would play old videos I'd watch the station for hours wanting ONLY to catch "Burning Down The House" or "Once In A Lifetime," whose presence was actually not uncommon. Though my reasons for enjoying them have altered and probably increased over the years, my favorite full-length has always been Fear Of Music. Like Fugazi's The Argument and Pere Ubu's "Final Solution," the textures on the album feel cold and compressed, as Eno's ambient sonic additions add a sense of space already heightened by the layered, minimalist music (the music on"Mind" could almost be mistaken for the Neptunes). Most of the tracks are riddled with paranoia and anxiety, with only the nonsensical "I Zimbra," "Cities" and the fantastical country ballad "Heaven" as outlets of release (I'm not sure what "Electric Guitar" is aside from my least favorite track). "Mind" needs to start showing up on more mixtapes I make, Homer Simpson has a cameo on "Drugs," I wrote a horrible short story one summer based on "Memories Can't Wait" and the lunacy of "Air" and "Animals" crack me up every time. Most people shriek to the heavens about Remain In Light (which does have classics, don't get me wrong) but Fear Of Music is the one that I find the most consistent.

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