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David Byrne

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David Byrne Rei Momo album cover
2.77 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Independence Day (5:44)
2. Make Believe Mambo (5:23)
3. The Call Of The Wild (4:54)
4. Dirty Old Town (4:13)
5. The Rose Tattoo (3:51)
6. Loco De Amor (3:46) *
7. The Dream Police (3:00)
8. Don't Want To Be Part Of Your World (4:58)
9. Marching Through The Wilderness (4:30)
10. Good And Evil (4:35) *
11. Lie To Me (3:37)
12. Office Cowboy (3:40) *
13. Women Vs. Men (4:05)
14. Carnival Eyes (4:04)
15. I Know Sometimes A Man Is Wrong (3:14)

Total Time: 63:34

* Absent from LP edition

Line-up / Musicians

- David Byrne / vocals, electric (1,4,9,10) & acoustic (3,7,11,14) guitars, sampler (15), string arrangements (7,10), composer & co-producer

- Celia Cruz / lead vocals (6)
- Arto Lindsay / harmony vocals (12)
- Herbert Vianna / vocal duet with DB (12)
- Kirsty MacColl / backing vocals (1-3,7,8,11)
- Carlos Soto / backing vocals (2,5)
- Willie Colón / backing vocals (2,5)
- Lacy Penabaz / backing vocals (3)
- Johnny Pacheco / backing vocals (9)
- Tiborio Nacimento / acoustic guitar (8)
- Romero Lubambo / electric guitar (12)
- Eric Weissberg / pedal steel guitar (12)
- Lucinho Bizadao / ukulele (8,12)
- Eric Weissberg / mandolin (8)
- Lewis Kahn / violin (1,9,10,14), bass (8) & tenor (12,14) trombones
- Lloyd Carter / violin (9,10,14)
- Felix Farrar / violin (9,10,14)
- Acuna Turree Ensemble / strings (7)
- Enrique Orengo / cello (9,10,14)
- José Gallegos / keyboards (1)
- Paquito Pastor / piano (2,4,5,7,9), Fender Rhodes (14), string arrangements (9)
- Leini Guerrero / piano (11)
- Agapito Pascual / accordion (3)
- James Fearnley / accordion (3)
- Jon Brion / harmonium (15)
- Mauricio Smith / flute (13)
- Steve Sacks / baritone sax (2,8,10), brass arrangements (8)
- Bob Porcelli / alto sax (2)
- Ken Hitchcock / alto sax (2)
- Oscar Pena / alto sax (3)
? Mitch Frohman / tenor sax (2,10)
- Lawrence Feldman / tenor sax (10)
- Angel Fernandez / trumpet (2,11), brass arrangements (2,11,13,14)
- Charlie Sepulveda / trumpet (2,8)
- Piro Rodriguez / trumpet (4)
- Ite Jerez / trumpet (4,11)
- Steve Guttman / trumpet (4)
- Shunzo Ohno / trumpet (8)
- Augusto Onna / trumpet solo (9), backing vocals (3,9)
- Joe Shepley / trumpet (11)
- David Taylor / bass trombone (4)
- Tom Malone / tenor trombone (4,10)
- Sam Burtis / tenor trombone (10)
- Barry Olsen / tenor trombone (8,14)
- David Sacks / tenor trombone (8)
- Keith O'Quinn / tenor trombone (8)
- Barry Rogers / bass trombone (11,13,14)
- Dale Turk / bass trombone (11,13)
- Joe de Jesus / tenor trombone (11,13)
- Sergio Brandao / bass (1)
- Andy González / bass (2,4,5,7,9,13,14), double bass (10)
- Rubén Rodriguez / bass (3)
- Elvis Garcia / bass (11)
- Robert Ameen / drums (4,13)
- Juan Martinez / drums (1)
- Milton Cardona / congas, iya, quinto, shaker, shekere, coa, tambor, bata, backing vocals
- José Mangual Jr. / bongos, congas, sencerro, bells, guiro, huataca, guichero, bata, backing vocals
- Marc Quiñones / timbales (2,4,5,14), bata (10)
- Charlie Santiago / timbales (7,9,13,14), shaker (13,14)
- Johnny Pacheco / congas (3)
- Santiago Pasqual / guiro (3)
- Huti Rodriguez / tambora (3)
- Yomo Toro / cuatro (5)
- Cyro Baptista / caixa & pandeiro (8), cuica & agogo (8,12)
- Jorge Da Silva / pandeiro (8), repinique (12)
- José Da Silva / surdo (8)
- Cláudio Da Silva / surdo (8,12), pandeiro (8)
- Reinaldo Fernandez / repinique (8), tamborim (8,12)
- Luis Arias / congas (11)
- Luis Manuel / guiro (11)
- Wilfredo Garcia / tambora (11)
- Marty Sheller / brass (4,10) & string (7) arrangements

Releases information

Artwork: David Byrne with Doublespace NY

CD Sire ‎- 9 25990-2 (1989, US)

LP Sire ‎- 9 25990-1 (1989, US) Misses 3 tracks from CD edition

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DAVID BYRNE Rei Momo ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

DAVID BYRNE Rei Momo reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
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)

Review by Guillermo
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.

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