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9/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 19th October 2014
Every so often, an album comes out that sounds like nothing else. “Remain In Light” is one such album – from a completely different planet. The African rhythms and electronic bleeps of “Born Under Punches” together with David Byrne’s urgently exclaimed lyrics, “Take a look at these hands!”, for example, makes for a previously unheard mixture of styles, original songwriting/ song assembly and performance. Brilliant stream-of-consciousness lyrics are evident in “Crosseyed And Painless”: “Lost my shape, trying to act casual, I can’t stop, I might end up in the hospital”. Byrne’s performance gives an uncomfortable yet exhilarating feeling to the album. This combines well with what I presume is Adrian Belew’s squawking, screeching guitar lines on “The Great Curve”, which is an expertly assembled song. Brian Eno’s influence as a producer has a huge effect on final outcome.
“Once In A Lifetime” is so familiar these days that it almost sounds normal, but nevertheless fits it wit the album’s experimental approach. Side two, or the second half of the album, depending on how you’re listening to it, is a more, stripped back affair, although still highly original and experimental. Eeriness is added to the mix, most notably on the closing track “The Overload”. The best of side two though is “Listening Wind” with Byrne’s ethereal refrain of “The wind in my heart, the wind in my heart, the sand in my hair, the sand in my hair”.
I’ll admit that it took me a few listens and it did spend quite a lot of time on my shelf in between first listen and further listening but I was ultimately greatly rewarded. Buy it.
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