Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
David Byrne - Rei Momo CD (album) cover


David Byrne

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Prog Metal Team
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)

Report this review (#297426)
Posted Saturday, September 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars It is really a surprise for me to find that David Byrne and The Talking Heads were included in the Prog Archives database. I mean: was The Talking Heads a Progressive Rock band? I don`t think so. I think the same about this album, which is the only one solo album which I have listened from David Byrne, and it was a long time ago. In 1997, a friend lent me three albums in the cassette format: one from Rubén Blades (who is from Panama, if I remember well, and he is very good musician and particularly a very good lyricist in the Spanish language who plays Afro-Antillean music too), one from Molotov (an Alternative Rock Mexican band with funny lyrics with social commentaries), and this album from David Byrne. I liked all these three albums. Some years before that, I listened in the radio to one of the songs which was included in this "Rei Momo" album, titled "Loco de Amor". This album was recorded with Afro-Antillean musicians playing Afro-Antillean music (also called as Salsa Music in some countries) with lyrics written in the English language and sometimes also using a few Spanish words in the lyrics. The arrangements are played in this style of music, which is not one of my favourties, but I recognize that there are some very good musicians playing this kind of music (Juan Luis Guerra from Dominican Republic is also a very good musician and lyricist in this style of music). The mix of Afro-Antillean Music with English language lyrics in this "Rei Momo" album sounds a bit strange at the first listenings but at the same time funny in parts, but amazingly it works very well. Some of the lyrics are social commentaries, and I think that the best lyrics are for the song titled "Women Vs. Men", which seem directed to the extreme feminist followers in a very funny way.I don`t know if Byrne released another album like this, but it works very well even if it was only a one-off musical experiment.
Report this review (#1064203)
Posted Monday, October 21, 2013 | Review Permalink

DAVID BYRNE Rei Momo ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of DAVID BYRNE Rei Momo

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.