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Remain In Light

by Talking Heads

Released October 8, 1980 via Sire Records

Reviewed October 7, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Once In A Lifetime (78%), Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) (78%), The Great Curve (42%)

Remain in Light broke new ground for a genre that was hardly just beginning. This album showed that punk didn’t have to be decrepit and dirty, but that it could have sophisticated musical ideologies. Talking Heads made a record that fused so many genres into one idiosyncratic record that never lost its own identity. Afrobeat percussion melds with shimmering new wave while Brian Eno peppers in nuanced details to create a rhythmic romp from cover to cover. It’s an invigorating and free form record that never ceases to blow me away. – Jared (10/10)

A defining new wave record by pioneers of the genre, Talking Heads’ fourth studio album is a remarkable fusion of genres. With origins rooted in the New York punk scene, Talking Heads stretched the genre further than anyone had ever imagined and Remain In Light represents the peak of their efforts. With assistance from producer Brian Eno, the group took major influence from Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and fused the genre with their already eclectic blend of punk meets funk. There’s never a dull moment here, as the first half is loaded with irresistibly groovy polyrhythms that make you fiend for a dance floor, while the second half’s instrumentals emulate hypnotic, trance-like states. Furthering its Afrobeat influence, David Byrne’s lyrics follow a stream-of-consciousness pattern that is heavily influenced by African literature and mythology. The legacy of Remain In Light is not only its status as a landmark record for the genres of new wave and post-punk, but as a deeply spiritual and freeing musical journey. – Dominick (9/10)

From punk sensibilities to afrocentric rhythms influenced by the likes of Fela Kuti, no other band exercised their experimental demons quite as effectively as Talking Heads. Produced by frequent ally Brian Eno, Remain In Light is home to a masterclass in studio trickery and manipulation, effectively enhancing the Talking Heads energetic blitz while also honing in on their more contorted characteristics. Stylistically split into two halves, Remain in Light mutates from up and at it jitterbug floor-fillers to overcast and near-mournful in a flash, adding to the enigmatic qualities that pervade throughout its runtime. Contemporary acts are forever in debt to the New York collective's interminable influence and irrefutable quality. – Peter (9/10)

Cam: 10/10 | Hadley: 10/10 | Jared: 10/10 | Dominick: 9/10

Enth: 9/10 | Peter: 9/10 | Alan: 8.6/10


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