Umpteen years after first hearing this, it is still one of my very favourite albums and, to repeat a quote quoted in the track Blue Lagoon, "something rich and strange". I've never grown tired of it and probably never will. The sound palate is unique, like nothing I've ever heard before or since, and always keeps me enthralled (while the lyrics have me amused, bemused and moved almost to tears by turns) from the very beginning to the very end. This, along with the also wonderful if slightly less quirky Strange Angels, is Laurie Anderson at her most accessible. In a better world it would always be in those lists of Top 50 albums of all time and remains in my Top 10.
If you only know Laurie Anderson for that annoying "O Superman" chant, give the girl a second chance! From the opening of Sharkey's Day through to the closing of Sharkey's Night, featuring avant garde author William Burroughs narration, this is an album which thrills the senses with imaginative lyrics and sounds, and grows on you with every listening whilst also being quite accessible. What's more, as a showcase for the abilites of the Fairlight Comupter Musical Instrument for creating entirely new sounds, this ranks alongside Peter Gabriel's eponymous fourth album as a real aural treat. And Peter duets with Laurie on the "Excellent Birds". Excellent indeed!
I first heard the album years ago, and the music still haunts me. Laurie Anderson creates a unique atmosphere -- her voice, whether she is narrating or singing, is equally melodious. You get the urge to sing along, but the intricacies of Laurie Anderson's voice are hard to follow... Enjoy!
Following the success of the O Superman single this follow up album enlisted the ultra cool services of Peter Gabriel (notable providing backing vocals on Excellent Bird as well as a couple of other songs) and Adrian Belew on a few songs. The result was an album that was accessible but still retained the clear vision of Laurie Anderson without compromise.
She's made a lot of boring records. She's a performance artist. And she's Lou Reed's other half. But those cardinal sins aside, 'Mister Heartbreak' is blindingly brilliant.
Avant garde musicians forget the basic rule that it helps to have great tunes. But Anderson delivers in spades on 'MH', spicing hummable melodies with audacious arrangements and endlessly adventurous instrumentation.
'Mister Heartbreak' effortlessly transcends the confines of 80's production values to create something quirkily enduring and totally loveable. Why can't other 'serious' artists write good tunes?