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Talking Heads - Naked CD (album) cover


Talking Heads


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2.49 | 74 ratings

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1 stars Anatomy of a death spiral

The blood was in the water during "Little Creatures" and by the time "Naked" rolled around the flaming orb had crashed spectacularly into the ground. No longer a real band in anything but name, the latest David Byrne album found the group in Paris searching for elusive inspiration I suppose. They wouldn't find it. Using the oft tried but rarely successful plan of substituting true band camaraderie and/or creativity with throwing everything at the wall hoping something sticks, they attempted an improvisational method of jamming with tons of musicians in the hopes something magical would just appear before them. Not surprisingly, it didn't happen. "Naked" is an overbaked disaster born of too many cooks, no recipe or vision, and a heavy dose of trendy world music crap. It's not exciting, it has no passion, it quite simply isn't there. I hope I'm not waffling.

That obituary written, I always like to say something positive, and there are a few nice moments. While most point to the funky but directionless "Blind" or the hit single "Nothing But Flowers," there is a very cool track in "The Democratic Circus" which conveys a relaxing, classy, "mature" sense of pop music. But so much of the album is just lost and lightweight, especially in the killer grooves that used to drive the band. Listen to the completely weak backing track to "Totally Nude"?talk about going through the motions. "The Facts of Life" pushes boredom so far that it almost becomes interesting, until you smash into the car in front of you having become transfixed with the mechanical nature of the song's beat. The final track "Cool Water" sports some spiffy guitar work and a nice building of momentum. In the closing moments Byrne and the music finally unite and have some convincing energy and vision. A nice moment but far too little, too late.

Maybe I just plain don't get it. Sorry to be so scathing here but I have no love for "Naked." Talking Heads should have hung it up with "Stop Making Sense" and David could have pursued material like this with more clarity.

Finnforest | 1/5 |


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