Albums To Hear Before You Die #007 – David Byrne – Rei Momo (1989)
Like Bowie, David Byrne is a musical chameleon, constantly experimental and surprising. In this, one of his finest albums he adopts Afro/Latino dances and rhythms (including merengue, Cuban Son, samba, mambo, cumbia, cha-cha-chá, bomba, and charanga) to his always beautiful and lyrical songs to produce an album both diverse and consistent.
Anthemic pulsing numbers such as .Independence Day’ and ‘Marching Through The Wilderness’ both contrast and complement tracks such as the sublime ‘The Dream Police’ and ‘The Rose Tattoo’.
The late and great Kirsty MacColl features on several of the tracks although, to be honest, you’d be hard pressed to spot her if you didn’t know she was there. However, it is an album bursting with life, energy and rhythm, threaded through with Byrne’s emotive vocals and enigmatic lyrics, like your own Mardi Gras in a box.
If you were going to buy one David Byrne album, I’d recommend this one. I defy you not to tap your feet.
Independence Day – 5:45 (Cumbia) (feat. Kirsty MacColl )
Make Believe Mambo – 5:23 ( Orísa) (feat. Kirsty MacColl & Willie Colón)
The Call of the Wild (Byrne, Johnny Pacheco) – 4:55 ( Merengue )
Dirty Old Town – 4:12 ( Mapeyé)
The Rose Tattoo (Byrne, Willie Colón) – 3:50 ( Bomba/Mozambique )
Loco de Amor (Byrne, Pacheco) – 3:51 (Salsa/ Reggae) (feat. Celia Cruz )
The Dream Police – 3:00 (Cha cha cha) (feat. Kirsty MacColl)
Don’t Want to Be Part of Your World – 4:55 (Samba) (feat. Kirsty MacColl)
Marching Through the Wilderness (Byrne, Pacheco) – 4:30 ( Charanga) (feat. Milton Cardona)
Good and Evil – 4:35 (Rumba/ Llesa )
Lie to Me – 3:40 (Merengue) (feat. Kirsty MacColl)
Office Cowboy (Byrne, Arto Lindsay) – 3:40 ( Pagode) (feat. Herbert Vianna )
Women vs Men – 4:06 (Bolero)
Carnival Eyes – 4:04 (Mapeyé) (feat. Milton Cardona)
I Know Sometimes a Man Is Wrong – 3:11