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Thursday, December 15, 2011


Talking Heads - Heaven (1979)

I would have guessed this was David Byrne based on the voice, but I never would have guessed this was a Talking Heads track.

The guitar is a little twangy, giving it the country influence the book mentions. We've also got simple piano, or at least a synthesizer set to upright. The drum part is almost overwhelming to me; repetitive, too loud, and frankly both dull and too much. The bass line here is moving as fast or faster than the piano during most of the song. Due to the fact that the guitar is playing an atmospheric twang part, the bass becomes a real driving force of the song; really keeping it moving along with the non stop drums - which is ironic considering the lyrics.

The song is about the afterlife, but a version of Heaven few would consider positive. It is a place where "nothing ever happens" and "it will not be any different, it will be exactly he same". Never has Heaven been described in such a way that no one, save people with anxiety that too much is happening and lovers of boredom; would ever want to go. It could be interpreted as very zen, nothing that ends doesn't begin again. but I just think it sounds terrible. Not that the song is terrible, the word play is fantastic: "the band in heaven, they play my favorite song/Play it one more time, play it all night long". It just does a great job of describing a place I wouldn't want to go.

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