Sunday, August 14, 2011

2001: Broken Things

David Byrne: Broken Things


By 2001, new wave music had happened twenty years earlier. Talking Heads had made some of the most original music of the 80s, but now leader David Byrne was well into his solo career. Byrne had always thrived on defying expectations. By 2001, that could mean making heavily produced music, with live strings and other orchestration. In Byrne’s hands, this evoked the sounds of Brazil, and that was the basis for much of his 2001 album Look Into the Eyeball. Broken Things is something of a throwback to Byrne’s earlier sounds. Yes, there is a horn section, but it is used with great subtlety. This one has real bite, more so because of the music that surrounds it on the album. As for lyrics, Byrne has always been an elliptical writer, but the most important repair to be made in this song is emotional rather than physical.

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