Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

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Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 7th, 2010, 10:54 pm

A bit disappointed, I'm afraid. Not in the work as a whole. We knew there would be lots of guest vocalists in this thing, but DB himself was no more than a featured player. I think I heard him in backup in "Pretty Face", but he only had two lead vocals! ("American Troglodyte" and a duet with "Seven Years") Maybe I'm being silly, but when I buy a DB work, I expect at least mostly...um... DB.

I liked a lot of the songs, especially "You'll Be Taken Care Of" "How Are You", "A Perfect Hand", among others, but those, like most of this, are sung by others (talented people, but not DB!)

Another problem was that the songs, while pleasant and upbeat, were fairly pedestrian. The thing I love most abou DB in general is that he's always willing to push to the edge, but this time, he seemed to be a bystander. A good deal of the songs are freaking disco fer gawd's sake! If I want to hear that, I'll pull out my old Chic and Donna Summer stuff. (which I occasionally do, so it's not that I hate disco) BTW, "Every Drop Of Rain" makes my eye twitch - absolute shit. DB shouldn't be doing guest shots on his own album. At the very least, it should all feel like DB, even when he's not doing the vocals, but it doesn't. Despite its shortcomings, "The Forest" at least felt like a DB project.

I expect, no, I demand more adventurous work from DB. Not necessarily sturm und drang, ("Uh-Oh" was mostly hilarious) but I expect DB to rise above the pablum we're getting from the likes of Twitney, the American Idol "winners", etc. It's his own fault; he raised the bar numerous times, but fell under it with this one, IMO. Haven't seen the DVD yet, and the book is actually pretty cool, but when I want to hear DB music, I'm pulling out ETHWHT and the rest again; that's real DB.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Mr.DRC on April 8th, 2010, 12:18 am

Chic.Donna Summer. disco ? Nah,Nat...Nah. :?

As for HLL.It's an Opera, an we all know it ain't over till the fat lady sings...or DB in a strapless ensemble.He keeps saying in the promo interviews he's been "talking to people." For people read gown-stichers :lol:

("Reno will be soooooo mad at you, DRC!" - Oscar)

(( Who he? ))

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 8th, 2010, 12:47 am

Well, as I said, it's not a bad group of songs, per se; it's just not DB quality, IMNSHO. More DB, less guests is my primary gripe.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby junkanoooo on April 8th, 2010, 5:15 am

I'm not rushing out to get this, well maybe never. I'm not very enthralled at all, and this after having seen the show at Carnegie, which I loved. If that ensemble went on tour I'd go catch a show for sure....one, no more though.
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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Rick on April 8th, 2010, 6:33 am

It's easy to say, but I really think I would have spotted this as a DB work having heard it without knowing. The string arrangements, the lyrics, and the rhythms definitely have his stamp on them. I agree that the songs are a bit predictable from one to the next, but there are some early standouts "Don't You Agree?" It's hard to know how the set would play as part of a fully staged performance, but the included text helps put everything in perspective. He tells an interesting tale. I find it far more interesting than ETHWHT.

I'll also point out the the guitar work which is DB's primary contribution to the performance is pretty great.
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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 8th, 2010, 6:55 am

I didn't recognize much DB in that thing; period. But that's not even the worst thing. There was so little of him, it should not have been presented as his latest album. It should have been presented as what it really is; a performance piece, like Catherine Wheel. But of course CW was all DB.

"Zero Accidents On The Job" was a compilation of acts on DB's Luaka Bop label. I knew going in that DB would be a fairly minor part of that, but HLL's advertising never indicated that DB would have so little to do with it, or did I miss something? I expected all of the other singers, but I also expected at least unconventional tunes - I just feel that this thing is more of a pop confection. DB doing duets, or just writing all of the songs usually produces his brand, no matter who's singing. This time, I felt like I was listening to some group who asked DB to collaborate on some of their songs. It should be the other way around.

Of course, different strokes for different folks, but I don't care that DB played guitar on it; I feel duped.

Hope the DVD changes my mind, but I doubt it.

*sigh* at least I have lots of workout music now.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby mscott on April 8th, 2010, 7:08 am

I think its a great album and great songs

The only thing that stops it from being a 100% DB album collaboration is that he got female singers to sing the songs instead of him.

Seems to me that the music and songs were done with his musiscians passed on the FBS who added beats and other bits demos sent to singers of DB singing, singers recorded

Zero Acciednts was songs he did not have anything to do with except like and sign the band with a couple of his songs added wasn't it?

It is also refreshing to hear his songs sung by others, Makes you realise just what a great song writer he is. As a double disc I would give 4/5. If cut down to a single disc 5/5.

My favoutites are Here lies live, Don't you agree and I think the project hits perfection on Ladies in Blue with an awesome singing contribution by Theresa Andersson. That North European accent sends shivers down my spine when she sings "concentric circles"

It also reminds me of Rei Momo. DB had gottten into Brazilian music so had the time of his life recording one with a full on Latin band. He like dance music so he found an excuse in Emelda to record an album of 70s 80s disco music

I even think there is a version of this with him singing all the songs which I hope he'd also one day release

For me this is a DB album just that he bottled out of singing the songs himself cos the main characters were women and it wouldn't sound so good with him singing
Last edited by mscott on April 8th, 2010, 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 8th, 2010, 7:16 am

You missed where I said the songs were fine, but not uniquely DB, at least not to me. There were only a couple of songs by the others that sounded even remotely like DB's style (can't think of them right at this moment)

I also already said the singers were talented - I don't have a problem with them as performers. I just wasn't feeling it, the way I usually do with DB projects - good or bad.

In other words, I'd rather it have been a weak work that at least felt like DB (The Forest), than a pretty good collection of frothy pop songs by mostly people I've never heard of, but has his name all over it. Not all of them were typical stuff, but the few really good songs don't make up for the woefully bland others.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby mdrmartin on April 9th, 2010, 6:08 pm

Having now played it through twice more during a VERY long drive today I've come up with my definitive conclusion:

I like it. Quite a lot.

I'm happy with it in a Ronseal sort of way.
"What do you expect to see from a hotel window in Torquay?"

Being a huge (though not in dimensions) Sia fan, "Never So Big" is my favourite fttb.

That's it, too tired to type anymore.
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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 9th, 2010, 10:03 pm

I think you're missing my point, MDM - the quality of the singing isn't the issue. The lack of DB vibe is.

If the songs sounded mostly like DB's style, I wouldn't be slamming it. I don't have to hear DB vocals throughout the album. "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts" is a good example of DB's work including others. Love that one.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Mr.DRC on April 9th, 2010, 10:59 pm

Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?

;)

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby mdrmartin on April 10th, 2010, 5:33 am

Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?


"across the plain" - precisely Don!

Natalie - I understand your view however I remain happy with the whole thing. Each to his or her own. The only negative(?) thought I had was that instead of working with Fatboy Norman, it might have been better if he had collaborated with X-Press 2 again, or perhaps CSS. Or maybe, - alone?

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 11th, 2010, 7:27 am

mdrmartin wrote:
Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?


"across the plain" - precisely Don!

Natalie - I understand your view however I remain happy with the whole thing. Each to his or her own. The only negative(?) thought I had was that instead of working with Fatboy Norman, it might have been better if he had collaborated with X-Press 2 again, or perhaps CSS. Or maybe, - alone?

:twisted:


Alone is good. He should go with that.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby mscott on April 11th, 2010, 8:47 am

I love the album and am glad DB isn't singing on most of it

Some of his songs in which he puts on a nerdy voice really get on my nerves:

Stay up Late, Back in the Box, Dialogue Box and on this album American Trigolyte (although I like the music)

However, DBs voice on ETHWHT is absolutely fantastic especially on Home

The great thing about DB is that he has also introduced me to some amazing artists over the years (Caetano Vleoso, Tom Ze, Jim White) and from this album I'm getting St Vincent and Theresa Andersson albums from the library. I also got Florences Lungs a few months ago

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Animal Boy on April 11th, 2010, 8:55 am

I concur with the OP.If I'm going to buy a David Byrne album I want to hear more David Byrne & less guests.













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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 11th, 2010, 9:33 am

mscott wrote:I love the album and am glad DB isn't singing on most of it

Some of his songs in which he puts on a nerdy voice really get on my nerves:

Stay up Late, Back in the Box, Dialogue Box and on this album American Trigolyte (although I like the music)

However, DBs voice on ETHWHT is absolutely fantastic especially on Home

The great thing about DB is that he has also introduced me to some amazing artists over the years (Caetano Vleoso, Tom Ze, Jim White) and from this album I'm getting St Vincent and Theresa Andersson albums from the library. I also got Florences Lungs a few months ago

Mick


WHOOSH!

I never said the people on the album weren't talented.

I said,

A. The album was (IMO) deceptively advertised as a David Byrne/Fatboy Slim work, with guest vocalists, but sounds more like DB was a minor player.

B. The style of music sounds mostly nothing like DB's style. I don't have to hear him sing on every track, or even most of the tracks, but I do expect to at least hear his adventurous spirit, not a bunch of warmed-over disco. The only mention of disco was in the album packaging itself, not on the ads. (at least not that I ever saw)

C. The title should have been, "David Byrne & Fatboy Slim Presents Here Lives Love". That would have indicated a bit more caveat emptor, and I could have saved my money.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Peterb on April 13th, 2010, 4:54 am

I love it.

I think this a great achievement. This isn't a DB album per se, this is a composer taking a subject matter (Imelda Marcos) and presenting it within particular parameters (disco genre/musical language) sung from the point of view of particular people.

It's not dissimilar to Ry Cooder's "Chavez Ravine" album about the destruction of the Latin neighbourhood in LA that made way for Dodger's Stadium. Ry Cooder hardly sings on that album too.

These songs are very catchy and Fatboy Slim's contributions (beats and samples) are great, but I think the greatest contributor is the orchestrator Tony Finno - beautiful and tasteful orchestrations.

This is what I expect from Byrne; exploring new musical ideas and subjects and ways of presenting. This project will really come into it's own if it gets a theatrical season.

Love it

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Wickeddoll on April 13th, 2010, 6:01 am

I'm so happy for you that you loved it. I could have spent a lot less money for much better quality music.

So there we are.

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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby cyberyukon on April 13th, 2010, 8:12 am

I haven't heard it...haven't listened to it.

I can't get past the whole "Imelda Marcos" thing.

Seriously. What's next? A CD dedicated to the life and times of Marlin Perkins?

Sorry, diehard fans, but this to me is almost as ridiculous (and by that I mean "girlishly wimpy") as warbling opera on that "Grown Backwards" thing or wearing the dress. Where's the David Byrne that gave us "Dense Beast", "Regiment", "Neighborhood", "Home", etc.??

But alas, if you can convince me that this new CD stands up to his better tunes then please do so. I'm all ears.
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Re: Drive-by impression of "Here Lies Love"

Postby Rick on April 13th, 2010, 3:56 pm

I expect this is a risk that all artists take whenever they explore music outside of the expected norm. They want to create new and for them at least more interesting art. Do you defer to your fans, or follow your own and continuously changing point of view and trust they like you well enough to follow along. On this release, I think he is doing a bit of both. He's found an interesting story and is telling it using the language he understands best. There are several upbeat songs that are unmistakeably his with all of the musical whimsy most of his fans seem to love most, and songs that expand his musical lexicon.

His compositional skills are as good as ever, and his guitar work throughout is virtuoso. Vocally, his voice on his two performances is not his best and that may not be his fault. Even at his best, the guest singers do a much better job as part of the story than he could. Just can't visualize DB as Imelda Marcos.

I believe it is worth listening to at least once from cover to cover while reading the included libretto and comments.
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