Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food [Sire, 1978]
Here the Heads become a quintet in an ideal producer-artist collaboration--Eno contributes/interferes just enough. Not only does his synthesized lyricism provide flow and continuity, it also makes the passive, unpretentious technological mysticism he shares with the band real in the aural world. In fact, there is so much beautiful music (and so much funky music) on this album that I'll take no more complaints about David Byrne's voice. Every one of these eleven songs is a positive pleasure, and on every one the tension between Byrne's compulsive flights and the sinuous rock bottom of the music is the focus. I have more doubts than ever about Byrne's post-hippie work-ethic positivism--on one new song, he uses the phrase "wasting precious time" and means it--but if it goes with music this eccentric and compelling I'm damn sure going to hear him out. A