David Byrne’s First Solo Album in 14 Years Focuses on Feeling Good

The final Talking Heads album, Naked, came out 30 years ago.

Talking Heads frontman David Byrne
David Byrne performs during Lollapaloosa Sao Paulo in 2018.
Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

David Byrne has always gone left while everyone else was going right. The world-traveling, award-winning musician and author has just released his first solo album in 14 years, American Utopia, and yet again, it goes against the grain — the album is about feeling good in 2018. His hope for American Utopia is that it will bridge the space between despair and triumph. The bleak and heartless times we currently live in inspired the album, which is one of Byrne’s silliest in recent memory.

Naked, the final Talking Heads album, came out thirty years ago, and since then Byrne has been pursuing interests that very rarely line up with what the rest of pop music is doing at any given moment. Talking Heads fans don’t like the solo album, they seem to find it remote, writes GQ. Byrne now lives in Manhattan, in an apartment filled with vinyl, CDs, thousands of books and his awards, including both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. GQ writes that Byrne, 65, will laugh at things that are funny, like Elon Musk sending a $100,000 car into space or the fact that The Emoji Movie exists.

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