Home Read David Byrne | American Utopia on Broadway: Original Cast Recording

David Byrne | American Utopia on Broadway: Original Cast Recording

Old Heads are better than none for the former frontman on his new live album.

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WHO IS HE? The former Talking Heads frontman. The most iconoclastic icon this side of Frank Zappa. The quirkiest man in show biz. The singer-songwriter behind hits like Psycho Killer, Life During Wartime, Once in a Lifetime and Burning Down the House. And the onetime owner of a very large white suit.

WHAT IS THIS? The expansive and energetic two-disc soundtrack to his recent Broadway show American Utopia, which combines songs from his optimistic 2018 studio album with reworked Talking Heads favourites.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? An updated version of Stop Making Sense — with more appropriately sized clothes and with a large international cast of barefoot singers, dancers and musicians instead of his old bandmates.

WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? More Than Once in a Lifetime.

HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? With appreciation for Byrne’s endless and uncanny ability to keep moving forward artistically without leaving his old work behind.

WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Stylish, ambitious, artistic, cerebral, playful, creative, intriguing, nostalgic, warm, satisfying.

WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The Talking Heads oldies are the obvious crowdpleasers — but solo numbers like Everybody’s Coming to My House, Here, I Dance Like This and his BPA collaboration Toe Jam are definitely worth getting reacquainted with.

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? ‘I’d still love to see a Talking Heads reunion — but this is probably the next best thing.’

HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? It’s easily worth a few spins — but personally, I’d prefer a Blu-Ray of the entire stage show, complete with dialogue and dance numbers.

IF THIS ALBUM WERE A STORE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? The hippest used-clothing shop in the coolest neighbourhood.

SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Don’t you miss it, don’t you miss it. And if you do miss it, you’ll eventually have to say to yourself: My God! What have I done?