Grown Backwards (2004)
|Artist: David Byrne|
|Nonesuch Records releases Grown Backwards, the label debut from David Byrne. The record is perhaps the most personal and emotionally expressive of his storied career.|
Byrne took a different approach to writing Grown Backwards, than he has previously used. He worked from the "top down," humming melodies into a micro-cassette recorder and later unscrambling them to create songs--a significant change from his usual practice of starting with improvised textures and grooves and later adding tunes. The result is a richly melodic set of fifteen songs that feature strings, rhythm section, and guitar. In addition to the eleven original songs, the disc features two opera arias ("Un di Felice" from Verdi's La traviata, and "Au Fond Du Temple Saint" from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers,, which features a duet with Rufus Wainwright); Byrne's cover of the Lambchop song "The Man Who Loved Beer;" and the bonus track "Lazy." This new version of Byrne and X-Press 2's 2002 song was re-arranged by Stephen Barber based on arrangements by Dan Foster, Steven Hussey and Anu Pillai for Freeform Five.
Arranged by Stephen Barber, Grown Backwards, is produced by David Byrne and Patrick Dillet, and features longtime collaborator Mauro Refosco on percussion and mallet instruments, Paul Frazier (Chic, Imani Coppola) on bass as well as the Tosca Strings from Austin, Texas. Additionally, Carla Bley's jazz band plays on the song "Empire."
Grown Backwards, is Byrne's first Nonesuch Records release. "There are a few artists today who are so original in what they do that one can truly say they sound like no one else in the world," says label president Robert Hurwitz. "This is what we have always felt about David Byrne, and this is how we feel about Grown Backwards, his first record on Nonesuch. It is a great privilege to work with him."
"Young pretenders beware: this old dog isn't so much learning new tricks as inventing them. Logo
"...equally arresting in its breadth of content and creativity. Q Magazine
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: David Byrne (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, programming); Rufus Wainwright (vocals); Elaine Barber (harp); Jane Scarpantoni (cello); Vincent Herring (alto saxophone); Alex Foster (tenor saxophone); Lew Soloff (trumpet); Ray Anderson (trombone); Ross Godfrey (keyboards); Steve Swallow (bass instrument); Kenny Wollesen (drums).|
|Liner Note Author: David Byrne.|
|Discounting David Byrne's 2003 soundtrack recording LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, GROWN BACKWARDS can be seen as the third installment in a trilogy that began with 1997's FEELINGS and found the former Talking Head moving away from his world-music obsession towards a kind of eclectic, intellectual chamber-pop. This '04 release is probably the least international-sounding of any of Byrne's solo albums, and while it contains elements of electronica, R&B, jazz, and rock, it's also his most unassuming recording in some time.|
|Elegant, artful string arrangements grace much of the material, and Byrne's previous polyrhythmic approach is supplanted by a more cerebral, European sensibility. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the inclusion of two honest-to-God opera tracks, Bizet's "Au Fond du Temple Saint" (with assistance from fellow opera buff Rufus Wainwright) and Verdi's "Un de Felice, Eterea." To his credit, Byrne manages to make these works his own, and along with a markedly more politicized lyrical approach on some of his own compositions, they mark the most significant changes to his artistic template.|
Producer: David Byrne; Pat Dillett
Associated Artists and Works
|Release Date : 03/15/2004|
|Original Release Date : 2004|
|Catalog ID : 7559798262|
|Label : Nonesuch (USA)|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
- "Byrne's affectless tenor is a perfect match for the delicate bob-and-weave grooves on this CD..."
- 3 stars out of 5 - "[A]rresting in its breadth of content and creativity."
- 3 stars out of 5 - "[M]ore wide-ranging in a subtler, more subversive manner, taking in Gallic accordion...countrified pedal-steel guitar...and lashings of elegant string arrangements."
- "Here again, he just yanks in influences from all over the place and pastes them together to create tiny, heartfelt gems, as endearing as they are marvelously catchy."
- 4 stars out of 5 - "[E]ssayed with the beaming confidence of a 51-year-old artist whose intellect and joie de vivre have achieved a long-overdue synergy."