by carl wilson

David Byrne's Tide of Self-Doubt

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Read the July 30 entry on payola in David Byrne's online journal. It really makes me wonder whether the new cynicism in the faux-naive songs of Little Creatures, True Stories and Naked was an outgrowth of the souring experience Byrne says he had after finding out that Burning Down the House became a hit partially due to paid spins. His songwriting and vocal affect for several years post-Speaking in Tongues do sound like those of a man who'd come to feel the work was somewhat hollow and his audience (and by extension, Americans in general) were dupes. (An easy enough conclusion in the Reagan years to begin with.) Not that Byrne wasn't always glib and sceptical, but I did detect a change. At the time it semed like the smug smell of success - this entry makes me wonder if it wasn't something sadder. You could even speculate on what effect this had on the Talking Heads' breakup. How easy is it to carry on in camaraderie when you feel, "My entire past was called into question. Who am I? Am I not partly what I like? And if those things I like were not completely of my own choosing, then what am I?" That train of thought could lead directly into a station called, "Does this band really mean all I thought it meant?" It can't all have been Brian Eno's fault, after all.

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Wednesday, August 03 at 12:06 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (0)

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson