Tuesday, September 16, 2008

David Byrne: Big Love: Hymnal

With all the hype surrounding Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, you may have missed another David Byrne release that made its way on to the market in late August. Big Love: Hymnal is Byrne's soundtrack to the second season of the TV show Big Love. You can read Byrne's own account of the creation of this music on his fantastic online journal, here.

The disc is very definitely modern-era Byrne, with many of the tracks having a similar feel to Byrne's most recent solo disc, Grown Backwards. The instrumentation is highly organic, and features a fair number of strings, horns, and acoustic guitars. Byrne's vocal contributions are largely made up of "oohs" and "ahhs", with the exception of the last track. Similar to Byrne's 80's disc The Catherine Wheel, which featured a single full-on vocal track ("Big Blue Plymouth"), the last track of Big Love: Hymnal ("Blue Hawaii") contains a full vocal track.

Despite being composed of what is (presumably) incidental music, the disc holds up extremely well as a repeat-listen. We actually found it more accessible than most of Byrne's other instrumental work: it's more melodic, and far less abstract. What's more, as a companion piece to Grown Backwards, the listener is already familiar with some of the musical themes at hand, which makes them easier to grow into. While, we're loving the Byrne/Eno disc, it's nice to snag some solo-Byrne work at the same time. Check it out!

David Byrne will be at Davies Symphony Hall October 6th and 7th.

mp3: David Byrne - Blue Hawaii