Right, listened to it straight away to get it out of the way. I said after Remain in Light that I wouldn't be bothered if I never heard another Talking Heads album and listening to this has only backed up that hunch.
I'll start with some positives - even though this is a live album, the sound is light years ahead of Remain in Light. You can actually feel the spaces in between the instruments, you can hear the guitar strummed and the individual thump of the drums. "Pyscho Killer" is a great start, a good live version of a studio track that I enjoy. In fact the first few songs looked set to prove me wrong, but I didn't have to wait long to be disappointed all over again.
To borrow a line from Foggy's review of Joe Jackson (because it was so damn funny) and adapt it slightly, even though this is a live album, about 3 or 4 tracks in, somebody decided to push the fader marked "quirky keyboards" up to 85. As if that wasn't enough, a giggling schoolboy managed to sneak through the door during the post-production and added a load of weird random beeps and noises (oh, this is so funny, I feel like my sides are about to split). It makes you want to scream FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUST PLAY THE DAMN MUSIC!!!!
And did I mention that David Byrne is another "singer" (and I use that in the loosest possible sense) who you can add to the list of annoying vocalists? No? Well he's not the worst but he ain't great either.
6/10 (and only because I made the mistake of giving Remain in Light the same score when it probably should have been 4).
I'm off to listen to some Aimee Mann to restore my faith in music.
Funnily enough, I thought the beginging of the album was awful.
I thought they butchered “Psycho Killer”. Byrne’s vocal is awful.
“Heaven” is more hell. Duller than a butter knife. Anything could be more fun.
‘Thank you…” at least has a beat but not much else.
Found a Job is another strained vocal.
Things finally pick up with Slippery People and thereafter it is for the most part a decent set of funky new wave songs, aside from the execrable Genius of Love. The songs though are largely nothing special and it feels like some people have been dumped by the rock critics.
For sure this is not my idea of a great live album and as mentioned on another thread, I have a lot of live albums and have seen well over a 1,000 live performances so, if nothing else, I have plenty to compare to.
This album is good enough for me to won it but not to score more than 6 /10, which equals how I scored the Kate Bush live album, the best of which is to my mind better than anything on Stop Making Sense.
I only have a best of Talking Heads CD, which I'm sure I rated higher than this album, and I might investigate more of their catalogue at some point but Byrne's vocals are not my favourite, they work on "Psycho" and "Once in a Lifetime" but you can have too much of a not great thing.
BTW “Swamp” rips off Chicory Tip, who'd have thought it.