Album of the Day
David Byrne has been pushing the pop music envelope since his Talking Heads days, and with Nonesuch Records debut GROWN BACKWARDS, he explores opera and classical music that puts melody above grooves. “Many of these new songs began as melodic fragments,” Byrne noted. “I began carrying a little microcassette recorder with me in my backpack, and if a tune popped into my head I'd hum it, wordlessly, into the mic, wherever I was.” With backing by the Tosca Strings chamber group – and Rufus Wainwright harmonizing on a Bizet aria – the singer-songwriter is in excellent musical company, and when his typically eccentric lyrics kick in (“Tiny Apocalypse,” “Glass, Concrete, and Stone”), the effect can be sublime. Released 15 years ago this weekend, GROWN BACKWARDS is yet another triumph from an artist who continues to grow in surprising directions.