Saturday, July 01, 2017

Talking Heads / Talking Heads: 77

In the mid-to-late 70's, after discovering bands like the VU, MC5, Stooges, NY Dolls and lots more, I was hungry for any new bands, especially those connected to the burgeoning punk rock/new wave scene and I bought pretty much anything I could come across. At the time, I liked pretty much anything just because it was different, but since then I've gotten a little more discerning. I know I dug this when I got it, especially the "hit", but these days it just seems a bit too...something...arty? Slick? Not rockin'? I dunno. Not that there isn't some good moments here.

The records starts with "Uh-Oh Love Comes to Town" with its kinda white boy funk/soul, and moves on to "New Feeling" - kinda dig the new wave vibe combined with more funkiness. There's something about the kinda pompous "big chorus" of "Tentative Decisions" turns me off a bit, though the quirkiness - maybe a touch of Modern Lovers or the Boom Boom Band here? - of the quieter piano number "Happy Day" is somewhat endearing, "Who Is It" is more white funk, "No Compassion" is a bit more new-wave-y and interesting with its various time changes, "The Book I Read" has some compelling pop tendencies, there's a nod to white reggae combined with their other eccentricities in "Don't Worry About the Government", added to everything else is some horns for "First Week / Last Week...Carefree", but dammit if I can fault "Psycho Killer" - from its pulsating bass line to its weirdly catchy chorus mixing French, "fa-fa's" and yodels and - for the Heads - general rockin'-ness. They end things with one of their more upbeat numbers, "Pulled Up", which is also pretty catchy and not dissimilar to "...Killer".

So, overall, not a bad record, per se, but still not something that I would pull out on a regular basis. I generally go back to it every few years to simply see if my opinions on it have changed yet.