David Byrne: As Thoughtful As You'd Think About Manilow's Dead Musician Duets


David Byrne is a man who knows how to use words in a creative and thought-provoking way, a point made obvious by both his lyrics and his imaginative, reflective journal posts.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Byrne’s review of the new Barry Manilow record for The Talkhouse reads nothing like your typical album review.

Manilow’s Dream Duets is an easy target for criticism, being that every song samples the vocals of a dead musician. However, Byrne handles the review with an artful imagination, using it to reflect on the state of both contemporary music and the world as a whole, and does so in a way only David Byrne could.

Byrne uses the ideas of DNA testing and artificial insemination as loose metaphors for digital recording technology and contemporary sampling, eventually questioning whether such technology detaches the modern human from reality.

“The disconnect is the way we live now. What we see, hear and feel is not necessarily what is actually going on. We can no longer trust our senses. Then what do we trust? In this way Mr. Manilow’s record is profound, bluntly confronting us with this cognitive dissonance.”

Read the review here.

- Alex Wood

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