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Grown Backwards

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Even before he departed his vaunted Talking Heads in the late '80s, David Byrne had already embarked upon a solo career that encompassed various stage projects (The Catherine Wheel, The Knee Plays, The Forest) and film soundtracks (True Stories, Last Emperor) . But this 2004 release finds Byrne bristling with a sense of ambitious eclecticism rare even by his own elevated standards, a sensibility that carries Byrne deeper into the classical realm than he's ever been. Austin, Texas' chamber outfit the Tosca Strings inform the melancholy, post-modernist opener "Glass, Concrete & Stone," the limber 'n' loopy rap fusion "Tiny Apocalypse," and "Un Di Felice, Eterea," aria adaptations from Verdi's La Traviata. That operatic fixation surfaces early on in a lovely, if unlikely duet with Rufus Wainwright on "Au Fond du Temple Saint," adapted from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers.

Customer Reviews

Byrne's best album yet

This was one of the best albums of 2004. Byrne shows no fear in pursuing various musical styles, and creates some impressive results. Outstanding songs to mention are "Glass, Concrete and Stone," "The Man Who Loved Beer," and "The Other Side of This Life." But nothing beats "Lazy," a fun song with an infectious beat and a funky string quartet.

True Genius at work

David Byrne is someone whom actually DESERVES the highly over-used label of "genius" and "artist". I found this album only after viewing the film The Secret Life of Words, for which "Tiny Apocalypse" is the final song to an amazingly poignant story, and boy am I glad. The entire album is brilliant. Thank you David. (From a fellow RISD-ite.)


This man is an ecclectic musical genius. You must love this album. Get it all!


Born: May 14, 1952 in Dumbarton, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although best known for his groundbreaking tenure fronting the new wave group Talking Heads, David Byrne also received acclaim for his adventurous solo career, encroaching upon such diverse media as world music, filmmaking, and performance art in the process. Born in Dumbarton, Scotland, on May 14, 1952, Byrne was raised in Baltimore, MD. The son of an electronics engineer, he played guitar in a series of teenage bands before attending the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, where, feeling...
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