Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Learn more Shop Men's Shop Women's

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£12.67+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 27 March 2004
In contrast with his last chart hit "Lazy" David Byrne is backed by a string section and a variety of classical instruments in the majority of tracks on this album, which also contains two traditional classical renditions! It's certainly not his most upbeat, although as usual with Byrne it's full of great lyrics and music. The opening track, "Glass, Concrete & Stone" is typically weird subject matter. Other standout tracks for me are "The man who loved beer", the rather funky "Dialog box" & "The other side of this Life" with it's uplifting strings. But it's all good. David Byrne creates the type of songs that only he does - which makes it difficult to describe his music. I highly recommend seeing him in concert. If you've liked his post Talking Heads stuff in the past I'm sure you'll dig this...
0Comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 July 2004
David Byrne writes, on the enclosed booklet as a way of explaining how this album was conceived, that "Sometimes it seems as if things, like writing a group of songs or getting groceries, are dealt with more or less on a day-to-day basis, as they come up, each reacted to only at the time as they demand to be, and that there is no plan or direction or overall consideration of where things are leading. But of course that's not true -there are little decisions made every minute, and the cumulative effect is to define what later appears to be a conscious plan, with an emotional center and compass."
Byrne's words may very well describe your listening experience, after you play this album a few times, as it has articulated my own experience. My first impression was that of a gathering of songs without much of a common theme neither musically nor lyrically, ranging from opera arias to some choice covers and several examples of Byrne's quirky brand of songwriting.
Yet, upon further listening, these songs grow on you and grow together steadily, without anything resembling forcefulness but rather as another great showing of Byrne's emotional breadth and ability to re-interpret and bring new life to material very different than his.
Gorgeous examples of his power as an interpreter of other people's work are "Glass, Concrete and Stone" which just gets more and more moving with each chorus; the wonderful version of Lambchop's "The Man Who Loved Beer" who has probably moved me even more than the original Kurt Wagner's rendition; and the stunning version of Bizet's "Au Fond Du Temple Saint" which Byrne and Rufus Wainwright seem to have been born to sing together.
And this only the first three songs. You can also count on "Empire" -which I consider an important piece if for no other reason than intelligently and ironically condemning the certain political madness being currently passed as patriotism- as well as "Tiny Apocalypse" or "She Only Sleeps" which are pure Byrne magic.
Whether you come to this album expecting some trademark Pop "Byrnesque" or some new beautiful surprises from a man who continues to explore new paths, you will be fully satisfied.
0Comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 September 2005
This album is absolutely superp. As a longstanding lover of the Talking Heads I bought David's earlier solo offerings religeously to find that while each CD had one or two gems Mr Byrne getting his 'world music' rocks off was not really my thing. As an avid CD collector after several 'disappointments' I relegated Mr. Byrne to my "musician I respect who I will buy their stuff when it hits the bargain racks (e.g. Frank Black's solo outings) as there will always be something I will enjoy as part of an Ipod playlist" category. So it was to my dismay to listen to Grown Backwards to find that for a few measley pounds I have deprived myself unnecessarily of the privelige of listening to one of the best albums I have heard in this decade. As far as I am concerned this album is Byrne's coming of age where he has finally learnt to embrace different musical styles on his terms and not theirs. Bravo Monsieur Byrne!
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 July 2005
This album was the first David Byrne solo effort I bought.Well what can I say?I first listened to the album while driving throught the centre of Paris and the exquisite percussion in
'Glass concrete and stone'[my personal favourite] lit my heart up when I realised the simmilarity with that and the earlier talking heads effort 'I zimbra'.The Rufus Wainwright collaboration is equisite and beautifully baroque. Part of the charm being Rufus' sublime voice [am a big fan of Rufus]contrasted with Byrne's straining to hit the higher notes, but that's what's so great about that track.All in all it's a great
summer album as most David Byrne album's are,so sit in a deckchair,switch it on and enjoy a witty,poppy even funny album.
Plus,check out the back-cover.It's really funny.Byrne in dungarees,looking like a kind of evil Bill and Ben.Stand-out tracks are 'Glass concrete and stone','Man who loved beer,au fonde temple saint and the other side of this life.Make sure you
have the bonus track,'Lazy' a dance classic.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 March 2004
As a longtime fan of first Talking Heads and then Byrne's solo output I always look forward eagerly to any new release. Let me just say that this one does not disappoint. I really liked "Look into the eyeball" and "Grown Backwards" appears to be a logical progression from that album. Okay, okay, I'll concede to the other reviewer that it is a bit ballady, but it's certainly not MOR. Just laid back n' funky, with Byrne demonstrating with "Dialog Box", "Civilisation" and "Pirates" that he can still pen a fine pop ditty. The 2 arias take a bit of getting used to, but any man that can fit the lines: "And on my high school folder/I drew a big gorilla/something familiar, something far, far away" into a song will always get my vote! Can't wait to see him in Marseille at the end of May...
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 March 2015
Listening to this cd again (having not picked it up for too long) it is as if David Byrne has stepped back into music hall history and that rock never happened. It is though the work of an artist who is moving forward (albeit by looking back to the 20's and 30's) with his own unique vision. This, I assume, is why he has called the album Grown Backwards. On that basis it definitely works.

One gripe - I think the inclusion of the nine minute hit, "Lazy" was a record company decision as it doesn't sit well with all that came before it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 3 January 2013
I was lucky enough to see David Byrne at the 'House of Blues' in Las Vegas in 2004 while he was promoting this album. I had enjoyed only a very casual relationship with his music up to then and in fact I think I only bought a ticket for his concert in the first place because I had really gone to town in the nearby buffet and was about as mobile as a gazelle-eating python. I took my seat armed with nothing more than a vague awareness of Talking Heads and a couple of antacids. And I was completely blown away.

The guy is a great songwriter and a brilliant musician. I was outside the record store the very next morning ready to buy this CD, and I had a number of the tunes still in my head. The fabulous 'Glass, Concrete and Stone', for instance - I don't normally listen to the lyrics of songs (I haven't got the necessary levels of concentration. 'Agadoo' is usually just about my limit on that score, and that's only because it has actions) but right from the start his words captivated me. Obviously it helps that they are accompanied by some amazing musical arrangements. 'The Tosca Strings' help out on a number of tracks and how can anybody not have a good word to say about a record that lists the name of a player of the vacuum cleaner? That's on 'Civilization', a lovely little tune that appears to be set in a little French bistro somewhere. Think of the theme tune to 'Allo, Allo' and you're halfway there.

'The Other Side of This Life' is the song that always goes on repeat-play. Great lyrics, beautiful music... I've upset more than a few neighbours over the last eight and a half years blaring that one out. If someone big and with no neck doesn't come knocking on my door to tell me to turn the noise down I do tend to push my luck and give 'Pirates' a bit of an excessively loud airing too. It's a fabulously lively tune - how can anyone have a bad word to say about a song that manages to fit the phrase 'yo-ho-ho' in over and over again at the end of it?

I came to this CD with no prior knowledge of David Byrne's solo work, but from listening to other stuff subsequently it does seem to be a hallmark of his that he mixes styles and genres all the time. This is a hugely inventive and ridiculously entertaining album and I can't recommend it highly enough.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 April 2013
I wish I'd bought it years ago. Fantastic lyrics and I love the change of tempo throughout. I was inspired to listen to it after buying 'Love this Giant' by David Byrne and St Vincent, which I love. This album is even better.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 June 2011
Ignore all the other Reviews, this is Super Cool, a work of Art, such a wonderful collection of words and music, arrangements and melody's to die for. And then there's the percussion and production. Shame about Rufus thought, never mind I liked his mum and dad.
There is only one David Byrne.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 January 2014
Over the years, I keep coming back to this album for its variety, humour and musicianship. It is simply superb !
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)