Grown Backwards - David Byrne
Grown Backwards Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is not my beautiful opera. The Talking Heads most verbose member returns with one of his more eclectic solo albums to date (and that's saying something), featuring covers of Lambchop, Bizet and Verdi (we're talking arias, people) scattered amongst originals that range from African rhythms to doo-wop. The Tosca Strings and Rufus Wainwright guest. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. The beauty and richness of our seemingly mundane lives can be found here, in the bossa-nova of minor catastrophes, the pseudo-jazz of strippers, and the easy lilt of coffee cups.
  2. Byrne's affectless tenor is a perfect match for the delicate bob-and-weave grooves on this CD. [26 Mar 2004, p.74]
  3. 80
    Young pretenders beware: this old dog isn’t so much learning new tricks as inventing them.
  4. With the possible exception of his work with Brian Eno, Backwards is his most technically honed album to date. This is the stuff of an artist refreshingly confident with his work.
  5. It fits alongside the best of his career and adds another solid release to a solo catalog which will hopefully become more cherished in time.
  6. Extends the with-strings concept of last year's Lead Us Not Into Temptation and is equally arresting in its breadth of content and creativity. [Apr 2004, p.107]
  7. His voice devoid of Newman-Waits grit, his eclecticism even and controlled where theirs bristles with jokes, oddity, and gusto, how does he expect to connect with anyone but other likable progressives, and rather detached and inscrutable ones at that?

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. JohnB
    May 21, 2004
    Outstanding. A masterpiece.
  2. JohnC
    Mar 20, 2004
    Easily Byrne's' most melodious album--including his work with the heads--and the acoustic strings carry on the beauty of Look Into the Eyeball. If the public were conscious of this man's recent music, this would be regarded as one of the greatest albums in recent memory. Buy it. Collapse
  3. WillTheThrill
    Mar 23, 2004
    David Byrne is the greatest songwriter i will know in my lifetime
  4. michaele
    Mar 23, 2004
    these songs never bore, aslways stimulate, a rare mixture of deep thoughts, comedy and elegy
  5. GordonR
    May 21, 2004
    Quality and varied songwriting throughout and inspired cover versions too which he carries off superbly. His singing has never been better. The arias even tempted me to buy my first opera cd. Expand
  6. KeithG
    Apr 20, 2004
    Take the journey........don't be afraid
  7. MaxC
    Apr 5, 2006
    An excellent album by Byrne featuring what has to be his single greatest solo song and recording "Glass, Concrete and Stone", originally featured in Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things". Lyrically, Byrne is quite political while still very poetic with his usual gorgeous images of birds and buildings and mysterious women. His operatic duet with Rufus Wainwright is a definite grower and the island-tinged "Little Appocalypse" is yet another whimsical career high. It's an album that requires keeping an open mind - but its rewards are absolutely worth each repeated listen. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews