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David Byrne - Rei Momo CD (album) cover


David Byrne


Crossover Prog

2.77 | 26 ratings

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2 stars I have a very mixed opinion of David Byrne's music. I adore the music that he recorded with Talking Heads and I hold their first four albums high on my list. Among which, their debut album happens to be one of my top 20 favorite albums of all time! His collaboration with Brian Eno on My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts was also one of those excellent albums that I would have never anticipated before actually hearing it for the first time. After all this, it might be surprising that I actually have not been all that impressed by his solo career.

Make no mistake, I love David Byrne's artistic vision, but he's not a very self-sufficient artist. By that I mean that he should not be let loose in the studio without a higher authority supervising his actions. While in Talking Heads he had the band to throw his ideas at and with Brian Eno it's generally never going to be a fair collaboration, even though Eno has softened up quite a bit in the last few years. This meant that David Byrne had always someone to collaborate with on those projects. Although many of the tracks on Rei Momo have been co-written with other artists it's clear that Byrne is keeping the upper-hand on his side and doesn't let any interference with his meddling in the control room.

The end result of Rei Momo is an album filled with World Music-inspired material that is completely soaked in Hispanic and Brazilian song styles and rhythms that might please some fans who would claim that Byrne is expanding his artistic vision. Unfortunately I really don't see it that way because there is no real theme to link all these compositions together resulting in a very artificial record that makes no sense in a broader scope of this artist's career. Still, my main objection isn't related to the combination of David Byrne and Latin beats, but against the quality of these compositions from a songwriting point of view. Maybe it's because this wild combination has a limited span of possibilities for an artist who has no intension of expanding his vision outside the bare minimum that would require him to sound exotic for the U.S. and European markets?

Rei Momo was my introduction to David Byrne's solo career and set a bad tone for my later explorations of his discography. The only really interesting moment here comes towards the end with the song called Women Vs Men which for once actually fits Byrne's style quite well but that moment comes 13 songs too late.

**** star songs: Independence Day (5:45) Call Of The Wild (4:55) Loco De Amor (3:51) Marching Through The Wilderness (4:30) Lie To Me (3:40) Women Vs Men (4:06) Carnival Eyes (4:04) I Know Sometimes A Man Is Wrong (3:11)

*** star songs: Dirty Old Town (4:12) Rose Tattoo (3:50) Dream Police (3:00) Don't Want To Be Part Of Your World (4:55) Good And Evil (4:35) Office Cowboy (3:40)

** star songs: Make Believe Mambo (5:23)

Rune2000 | 2/5 |


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