David Byrne
Grown Backwards
(Nonesuch)
While it is difficult to fault David Byrne for his aspirations—he covers both Bizet and Lambchop on this album—he should be held accountable for not knowing what doesn’t work for him. “Glass Concrete & Stone” or “Tiny Apocalypse” succeed because they explore rhythmic textures that suit his strained vocal style. But smooth crooning over strings or vain attempts at operatic arias (even with the help of Rufus Wain-wright) are not flattering at all and demand the question “who’s he kidding?”
—Dave Hayden

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