Friday, October 22, 2010

FDF Volume 3 Issue 205: David Byrne - Look In To The Eyeball

By: March

Album -Look Into the Eyeball
Artist - David Byrne
Key Players - David Byrne - vocals, guitars, keyboards, Mellotron and Tympani
Produced By - Michael Mangini

Release Date - May 8, 2001

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I've been hearing some Talking Heads on the radio as of late and was thinking I should do one of their cds, but then I thought since I hadn't listened to David's solo record in a long time it made a little more sense.

Overview - This is the Seventh solo album from David Byrne. Byrne who rose to fame as the lead singer with the Talking Heads worked as a solo artist from time to time, but after the breakup of the Heads Byrne would continue to work on solo projects. This album would sell moderately and David would tour behind the record. The song "Like Humans Do" is/was included as a sample track of Windows XP Home Edition (Service Pack 1)

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album starts off with Indian sounding tabla instruments and "U.B. Jesus" begins. Byrne is in fine, clear voice and uses some backing vocalists to push it forward. He soars on the chorus and the guitars ring underneath. The track keeps the same feel, with strings and percussive instruments holding key slots. A moody, let perky lead off track. Strings and keyboards start "The Revolution" which then leads to a pretty acoustic guitar. Byrne once more is really strong. His voice has that perfect tone as the song sounds like a coffee shop staple. After two verses the percussive instruments seem to come up more, but the strings and guitar remain the most prominent instruments. "The Great Intoxication" has a little more rowdy intro, but it quickly has layers of strings and percussive instruments. Byrne is a little more hushed at this time as the tempo slowly builds underneath it. As the chorus grows Byrne his a vocal range he hasn't hit to this point. He keeps it short, but showing off his range is a nice touch, it is so good he does it again which is a nice touch. The very fun "Like Humans Do" opens with a rat-a-tat drum and finds a fun seemingly flamenco vibe. The snare has a real punch to it and the percussive backing fills. Bassist Paul Frazier gets to show some of his chops but Byrne is quick to showcase the subtle instruments. There is no "guitar solo" if you will. The whole group is locked in, just a very good track. "Broken Things" finds Byrne running some quick guitar slides, but the percussive players are remaining strong presences on the tracks. Frazier comes up on the bass strong about a minute in to the song and as Byrne swells vocally the band plays along. The are some horns that bring the verses back in and the band gets a little more urgent, but are quick to come back to the vibe of the track. The deeper string instruments greet you as "The Accident" and it is further accented by tympani drums. The song has a haunting vibe, with strings and Byrne working the bulk and the upright bass giving thundering lows. One of the real fun up tempo tracks comes in "Desconocido Soy " The track features NRU from the band Cafe Tacuba. "Desconocido Soy" is a Spanish language song, the title means "Unknown I Am" in English. The urgency is offset by soaring harmonies on the chorus. One of the real stand outs on the album. "Neighborhood" sounds like the theme to a 1970's "adult film", but that changes once Byrne sings. It just has a fun back beat and guitar tone that has a nice "ring" to it. Once again the strong female backing singers add to the full sound. Calling it a theme to a 70's film is rather unfair actually. Strings greet the listener as "Smile" begins. By this point the listener is well aware of the system Byrne is using on this record. More a minimalist approach, at least from what you'd normally hear in a rock record. No Keyboards, or loud guitars, just the percussive fills and strings. "The Moment Of Conception" has a more frantic intro than we are used to. The bass has a real "water/bubble" sound to it and the strings work in a frantic pace. The drum kit gets its first workout as the bass pushes the song with a quick tempo. A more convention "rock" sound, albeit laid back is on "Walk On Water". The bass and drums do a nice job working in tandem. The strings are a big part but there are some nice keyboard fills at times. The album wraps up "Everyone's In Love With You" a track similar to most, with its pretty strings and percussive instruments holding a prominent role.

Where are they now? - David is a very busy man. He continues to write and perform music, but is involved in theater and film as well.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - The only time I have seen David live was May 10, 2001 at Lupos in Providence. One of the highlights of the show was his cover of Whitney Houstons "I wanna Dance with somebody" which was a pretty funny/wild treat. On top of pushing this record heavily he performed the Talking Heads tune "Once in a Lifetime".

FDF Overall Take - Musically this is a very strong record. Not something you might throw on to get a party started, but if your guests are arriving and there is some milling about you'll probably get 1-2 comments on your choice. There is no denying he is strong voice, and strong presence. A strong record worthy of your time.

Official site is here as well as his
journal. You can also check out his
myspace page.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

U.B. Jesus
Like Humans Do
I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Tracks can be heard on the studio album, which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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