Via Billboard Magazine


For his first Nonesuch outing, David Byrne offers a series of intimate songs in which his voice takes center stage, framed by a diverse group of accompanists, from jazz composer/ pianist Carla Bley's band to French horn virtuoso Philip Meyers. The panoply makes for an eclectic mix that typifies Byrne's polymath musical interests. Best cuts include "Tiny Apocalypse" and a wry cover of Lambchop's "The Man Who Loved Beer." Adding to the pastiche feeling of "Grown Backwards," Byrne has plucked two standards from the operatic repertoire: "Un dì Felice Eterea" from Verdi's "La Traviata," sung in ghastly Italian, and—partnering with Rufus Wainwright—"Au Fond du Temple Saint" from Bizet's "Les Pêcheurs de Perles," delivered in awkward French. Despite the language gaffes, Byrne's delivery is sweet, tender and instantly endearing.

December Radio David Byrne Presents: Arabia

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