David Byrne The Knee Plays CD cover
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David Byrne, The Knee  Plays

David Byrne, The Knee  Plays

(Nonesuch) * * * *

David Byrne is best known for his work with  Talking Heads, but he has also experimented in theatrical collaborations and  New Orleans styles. This album, now remastered and released on a CD for the  first time, first appeared on vinyl as Music For the Knee Plays back in 1985,  after Byrne had been asked to provide the score for an avant-garde production  by Robert Wilson. It has survived remarkably well. Inspired by the Dirty Dozen  Brass Band, Byrne uses a small brass and percussion band to perform sturdy,  lyrical or drifting mood pieces that are often matched against his own  distinctively theatrical and surreal spoken vocals. The effect is intriguing:  this is a strangely timeless set that echoes everything from early New Orleans  jazz to brassy atmospheric passages or the quirky charm of a great Talking  Heads song. The eight new "bonus tracks" are less interesting than those  original recordings.

Robin Denselow



original article link:
David Byrne, The Knee Plays, The Guardian