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Talking Heads - Fear Of Music CD (album) cover


Talking Heads


Prog Related

3.70 | 104 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars good pop/rock band , but absolutely NOTHING PROG, no matter what some would have you believe !!!

Despite the very minimalist black artwork and its misleading title (unless you felt that their pop was "music"), Fear Of Music was another small revolution in the pop-rock market, although this old curmudgeon isn't sure it was really moving in the good direction for his tastes, but the majority did and TH albums certainly help change the face of music, although not necessarily in a positive way, given the awful 80's decade's pop soundscapes. A series of short songs max4-mins, except for the closer), which contrasts heavily with their following album, giving it a very new-wavish and post-punkish feel, a typical Brian Eno pop production of the era, often strongly influenced by the crummy Roxy Music period (post FYPleasure album).

Opening on the Zimbra, an African rhythm-laced pop track, FOM was a rather unsettling and fairly groundbreaking album (considering the pop scene of those days), a collection of inventive but bizarre pop tunes that either attracted or repelled you. Most people will remember Life During Wartime for its anti-disco message, but it certainly was not enough for this teenager's wariness to wane. Some tracks are however cringey and even painful to my eardrums, like Mind, while others leave me rather cold (Paper, Cities, Animals and more), but on the whole the weird tracks glide by without much passion (from this auditor or from the auditees), as it sounds like the group was mostly going through the motions on this half-baked "effort".

The deluxe double-disc remastered version include an unfinished (and still instrumental) studio tracks from the album sessions, plus a couple alternate takes on the first disc, and the second disc is a mixed audio/video DVD, where the original album gets a 5.1 audio mix and two concert RIL album pieces with the group's expanded line-up (including Zap/Crimhead Belew) of the following year on a German TV showcase. Definitely not a big fan of this album (personally I think it is a step backwards from MSAF&B), FOM is really best saved for a second batch of acquisition, once you've discovered the following albums, which are much more fitting of the prog-related label that they were more worthy of.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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