Tuesday, February 10, 2009

She is moving to describe the world

225. Talking Heads - "The Great Curve" (from the Remain in Light LP, Sire, 1980)

Well, obviously, right. This maybe isn't the best song on Remain in Light, I dunno, but today let's say it is. The polyrhythmic magic cranked up on this greatest of 20th century albums is cranked up way past Carl Lewis speed here, and we get a song that can barely seem to keep up with itself. I'm listening to it currently with the deep, held bass note on every 1 being a gigantic wave of some kind of (un)holy power and the hand drums as our adventurers, trying desperately to either (or both) catch up to it or escape from it and being on the verge of success before it gets closer/further away every four beats.

The rhythm section isn't the only thing going crazy, of course. The vocal parts are many and wonderful, the solos are thrilling, and the lyrics are about language (or explicitly about language, I should say, all lyrics are about language in some way, obvi). And our protagonist is trying to define the world and reveal the light, because she doesn't know that night must fall eventually, but her struggle is our struggle and the struggle of the polyrhythms, so we sympathize and dance. Yay!

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