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4.7 out of 5 stars30
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 January 2008
This album is full of the complex rhythms and quirky tunes mixed with admittedly bizarre lyrics to make something that works unusually well. If you have listened to a little Talking Heads or own a 'best of' compilation, I would highly recommend this as a must buy album on the way to becoming a full-blown fan. Very infectious!

As a bonus, this version has a nifty DVD disc thrown in. There are live videos of 'I Zimbra' and 'Cities' as well as the whole album in a snazzy 5.1 format. 'Surround yourself in Talking Heads', is what they suggest and it isn't a bad idea, especially at such a reasonable price.
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on 18 January 2006
This album is one of my all-time favourites. The production still soudns brilliant more than 25 yers after its original release and the music is at once quirky and tuneful. Byrne's voice is quite unique and complements the music perfectly. From start to finish this is a proverbial tour de force of psychadelia mixed with influences of world music and tuneful guitar. The highlight for me is proabably Cities but every song is a gem.
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on 5 December 2002
the third talking heads album & probably their greatest begins with a Dada sound-poem & ends with what sounds like an LSD trip gone horribly wrong, in between all kinds of fear are examined with a sly grin. David Byrne appears through the album to be some kind of refugee from a Kierkgaard mindscape although his fear & trembling is punctuated with humour. life is a trap & it's the ultimate one so how best to deal with all that useless anxiety about Cities & Animals & Drugs (not to mention Heaven itself)? well, Byrne says if you can make a mockery of it - sing it all out & feel better.for my part i believe anxiety is the best source for any Art to mine so this album lays close to my heart. Eno's production is just right - a sense of manic unease bubbles throughout. the conclusion? "paranoia is a great mood propeller" (Don Van Vliet)
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on 4 February 2013
With little doubt this is most probably the very best Talking Heads record (although I'll always have a soft spot for Stop Making Sense). I love every aspect of this release, from the minimal cover art, the short (predominantly single word) song titles, David's manic vocals, right through to the very immediate guitar sound. Excellent stuff.

On a record like this that is so consistently good, it's hard to zero in on stand out tracks - I love the nonsense of I Zimbra (it is strangely up lifting), the lyrical genius of Animals and the psychosis of Drugs. For me The track Mind, stands out both in terms of lyrics and the swirling lead guitar. Although not the best iteration, Life During Wartime remains one of the very best expressions of the North American mindset. A solid album, that I heartily recommend to all curmudgeons with a New Wave leaning.
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on 19 July 2014
I love this CD so much that I would like to give it 6 stars if I could. I purchased this on vinyl many years ago. The music was awesome then and it is still awesome now. I also purchased the digital version 2 or 3 months ago so that I could carry it with me everywhere! IMHO, this is the very best album ever put out by Talking Heads.
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on 15 November 2002
This is an excellent album from an excellent band. There are a variety of styles on here that all work. From the almost anthemic Heaven, the guitar heavy Memories can't wait and the brilliant Life During Wartime. The music is a mix of guitars and electronics that compliment David Byrne's vocal style perfectly. It sounds as good now as when it was released and is a definite must have for any Talking Heads fan
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on 5 January 2003
Astonishingly fresh almost 25 years after it was first released, this is Talking Heads masterpiece. The lyrics are as weird as they are inspired, the music is loose and muscular in its post-punk rocky confidence.
While most people buying this are probably going through the process of replacing vinyl, this album is far too good just for that audience. This is dynamite, exciting music, that makes you want to dance as much as it makes you think. Talking Heads lyrics were always far beyond the standard romance, regret or rage topics of pop, and this album includes songs about urban guerrillas, the boredom of eternal life in paradise and the sneakiness of animals.
Perhaps surprisingly, the greatest song on the album is "I Zimbra", which has meaningless "mouth-music" lyrics in an invented nonsense language. This may be one of the most influential songs after punk. As well as being a great dance track, it must be one of the first examples of world rhythms injecting rock with their hybrid vigour, a precursor to Byrne and Eno's ground-breaking album "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" two years later.
So, if you owned this before, get it again. If you've never heard it, buy it anyway. At under a tenner, you can hardly go wrong, and you'll love it. No doubt about it.
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on 17 December 2009
Excellent and quirky in the best TH's manner. An essential addition for all serious Head's fans. Great sound too. A minimalist masterpiece.
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2006
In the early days of the New York New Wave, Talking Heads were scorned by many of their cooler than thou contemporaries because they were "nerds". But their debut album showcased a fresh, immediate sound and the nerds were well on the way to becoming cool themselves. 'Fear of Music', their third album, fulfilled the vast potential demonstrated on their previous releases.
Rumour has it that when Sire signed them David Byrne made Tina Weymouth re-audition for the position of bass player. Whether that's true or not, if the band (not just Weymouth) had technical limitations their creative vision was virtually boundless. On this album the spiky urgency of before has a new sure-footedness. Tracks like 'Cities' and 'Life During Wartime' for example motor forward with a well-oiled self-assurance to complement that spikiness.
Other tracks like 'Drugs' and 'Heaven' strip the sound to its bare essentials, thus bringing to the fore Byrne's edgy vocals exploring themes of urban dislocation and paranoia. But despite all this unease this imperfect modern world is celebrated too because Heaven is, as Byrne observes, "a place where nothing ever happens".
Right down to its mostly one-word song titles, 'Fear of Music' is a minimalist masterpiece. Talking Heads made many other great albums but even if they hadn't this alone would have ensured their place in rock history.
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on 1 November 2013
This is number nine on my all time best albums list . when i first heard it right the way through it kind of knocked me side ways i did not know what to make of it but in a space of a week i just ended up loving everything about it.
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