Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews

Via The Austin Chronicle

David Byrne
American Utopia (Nonesuch / Todo Mundo)


Through design or circumstance, David Byrne here flirts with zeitgeist more than his previous solo albums. While not expressly political, American Utopia can't help playing as a reaction piece. Ostensibly the music for a multimodal project called Reasons to Be Cheerful, the onetime Talking Heads leader doesn't offer optimism so much as consoling reassurance. Close-mic'd vocals foster a sense of intimacy. Alternating between soft verses and electro chorus, "I Dance Like This" echoes the telegraphed verité of "Life During Wartime." Co-written with Brian Eno, "Everybody's Coming to My House" encapsulates late-stage imperialist paranoia with pensive instrumentation and rhythm as Byrne incants, "We're only tourists in this life."

(3:45pm, American Express stage)

[*] [*] [*] [.5]

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