this week for the weekly review, we’re checking out the 1980 Talking Heads record, Remain In Light!

aight i’m gonna say it up front – the front half of this record is flawless. i don’t really have any other way of describing it. it’s tense, it’s energetic in a way that feels frantic and measured – all three tracks are so FUCKING ANXIOUS in their own ways. phenomenal. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) rambles in a delightful way. absolutely love the weird instrumentation here. Crosseyed and Painless is really fun. it’s my least fave of the three here at the front, but i still really dig it. i think the Great Curve is my favorite track on the record. it just gets under your skin and compels you to move. and it’s got so many cool layers too! picking apart the vocal tracks from the relentless drums and the other instruments that drift in and out, it’s such a delight. Once in a Lifetime is inescapable – it’s a meme, it’s dissociation, it’s waking up and you’re thirty. excellent, perfect track, would have a crisis to again. Houses in Motion is funkier in a mellower way, compared to like, the Great Curve two tracks ago. v neat track. Seen and Not Seen brings it waaaaaaaaay down. strong beat here, and it’s neat seeing David Byrne vocalise in such a different way, haha. love the lyrics on this one, and it def grew on me. i feel conflicted on Listening Wind. on the one hand, i’m not the biggest fan musically of this one. on the other hand, damn. lyrically this one’s great. they don’t make em like this one any more. okay i read what Overload was meant to be, a song like Joy Division based only on descriptions of Joy Division’s music, and that is extremely funny. i’m hardly familiar with Joy Division so that component of this track doesn’t land for me, but damn this one is heavy and intense.

faves – Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), The Great Curve, Once In a Lifetime, Seen and Not Seen

if it’s not clear by the way i talk about it up there, i kinda felt a disconnect on this record – there’s such a tone shift between, well, it happens between The Great Curve and Once in a Lifetime musically, that it throws me off everytime. it’s like the anxiety crashes right into depression. and i think this is one of the places where the change in format does a disservice – that split is where the record goes from side A to side B, lol. there woulda been time between the two tracks when you flipped the vinyl or casette, and i think that woulda had a real impact on the shift between the two.

okay, that being said, i wasn’t as big a fan of the B side after we transition outta Once in a Lifetime, as i was of that fire opening run. not that i disliked those tracks or that they didn’t fit, i think the slow decrease in intensity doesn’t fit my preferences, haha. and like, damn, this record is TIGHT thematically. so many threads connecting these tracks, a really strong portrait of anxiety, economic and otherwise, under capitalism. kinda fucking sad how strong a track like Houses in Motion STILL resonates, 40 years after its release.

Remain In Light – 9/10

next week, i’ll be taking a trip back into my own personal listening history, and checking out In the Flat Field, by Bauhaus. i’ll be back next Friday, April 28st with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)