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Talking Heads - Talking Heads: 77 CD (album) cover

TALKING HEADS: 77

Talking Heads

 

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3.65 | 162 ratings

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theCoagulater
3 stars This album always struck me as a sort of baby More Songs About Buildings and Food. It got the same sort of vocals, and the songs handle themselves in mostly the same way, but this doesn't have the production genius of Brian Eno. It's not that this album's worse off for it, instead this means that it has more of a personality, and it's generally more of a unique listen.

Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town is an incredible start. Telling us what the album's going to sound like, and introducing us to the shenanigans of David Byrne. It introduces us to the entire cast. The bass line shows Tina's musicianship, Chris' steel pan shows us his influences, and Jerry's there too. I'm surprised that this wasn't as big a hit as Psycho Killer, to be honest, it's so goddam groovy.

The next four tracks all got the same sound. But instead of being lazy or boring, they all have identities. Each of them swaps ideas around creating a feeling less of four entirely different songs, and more of a ten-minute suite. This section of the album is also extremely cozy. There's nothing unhappy going on here. Just good vibes all around.

The next track "No Compassion" is very important to me personally. It's about being hung up on other people's problems. When either they're fake, they just want attention, you're taking too much energy worrying or any number of reasons. One thing I was hung up on doing around the time I first got into this album (and Talking Heads in general) was being hung up about my fake internet friends and their fake problems. The blunt-force lyrics, and the really honest way David sings them, spared no time in telling me exactly what I needed to hear. Another thing this song helped me with was being more honest, putting my problems in perspective with other people's lives, not making up shit for attention, and trying not to be one of the people the lyrics talk about. I want to make it clear that if you think I'm praising this song too much, I'm not, this is art, and art is supposed to change/influence people, and saying this song influenced me is an understatement.

The first track on side two "The Book I Read" is a cute little love song. My interpretation of the lyrics is that our protagonist is writing about something that changed his life, which would be the book he read. A metaphorical book. And when he found out that this book was someone close to him, he falls madly in love with them. I love the line "I'm running a race and you're the book I read", which is basically saying "I'm overcoming/completing something all because of you. Look! You're helping my life just by being there." You can swap the "I'm running a race" with whatever and it will fit perfectly. Along with this song having never described this book person. This line helps the song feel personal.

Don't Worry About The Government is a political track (wow!! how'd I figure that one out?!?!) with a million billion different interpretations. And I haven't yet landed on one I like. So to me, it's just another song about buildings and pine cones.

First Week/Last Week? Carefree harkens back to tracks two through five. Being a cozy mellow one. This one is softer and feels like it's leading somewhere, which it is, Psycho Killer of course,

Psycho Killer is a New Wave staple. Everyone knows it, most if not everyone loves it. It's funky, it's groovy. The lyrics are great satire; they are unfortunately tied to serial killers, because of the single's release so close to the Son of Sam serial killings. The lyrics seem to me like they're making fun of people who glorify and romanticize violence and general mischievousness, edgelords if you will. Aside from being as iconic as it is, the bass line is also super fun to play.

Pulled Up is a great way to end the album. Not too heavy. It didn't counter the weight of any other track on the album. It's very grateful and ends with a sense of optimism. As opposed to failing to end it off with a sense of bewilderment.

This album is great. But the band has not yet fit the square block into the square hole. Their next album, More Songs About Buildings and Food, is where they pull it all together. But I'll get there when I get there.

theCoagulater | 3/5 |

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