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Talking Heads - Speaking In Tongues CD (album) cover


Talking Heads


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3.66 | 94 ratings

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3 stars Three years after the release of Remain In Light, Talking Heads finally returned to the studio and recorded the album that their new fan base was so eagerly awaiting. Unfortunately the band played it safe with Speaking In Tongues without pushing the band's sound even further into the direction that was paved by its predecessor.

It gets pretty clear from the first soft tones of Burning Down The House that this album is not going to be another Remain In Light since the groove has clearly taken over most of the space that was previously occupied by off-the-wall experimental approach. Making Flippy Floppy starts almost like Born Under Punches, but soon transforms into another timid performance that lacks anything that can resemble quality songwriting. Girlfriend Is Better slightly more interesting since it plays its hand straight without trying to do anything beyond the straightforward tune that it actually is.

After a performance of Slippery People, which wouldn't even make it as a b-side on Remain In Light, things get more interesting with the funky groove of I Get Wild/Wild Gravity, but Swarm quickly returns the music back to basics. I really like the main beat of Moon Rocks and the synthesizer sounds during the chorus sections, but there is no denying that this is a pretty straightforward song even by Talking Heads standards. Pull Up The Roots might not be as bland as Making Flippy Floppy, still it's easily the second least memorable track of the album that is only here to fill out the album space. Finally This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) returns the material to the level of musicianship that perfectly merges the band's pop orientation and their experimental drive, with a clear and very memorable melody and an easily recognizable beat.

It's pretty clear that Speaking In Tongues is not one of my favorite Talking Heads albums. My main concern with this record is that the band were clearly playing it safe this time around with a definite nod at their newly established fan base. The next album would make this change even more clear, the only difference is that Little Creatures isn't pretending to be anything more than a pop album that it is.

**** star songs: Burning Down The House (4:02) Girlfriend Is Better (5:43) Slippery People (5:06) I Get Wild/Wild Gravity (5:17) Swamp (5:13) Moon Rocks (5:46) This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) (4:56)

*** star songs: Making Flippy Floppy (5:54) Pull Up The Roots (5:10)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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