Little Creatures

Talking Heads

Sire, 1985

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


By the time that Little Creatures, the sixth studio album from Talking Heads, was released, their musical “world tour” was near completion. All of the influences that they had experienced throughout their career seemed to come to a head with this disc, from indie rock to rhythmic world music to even a tinge of country.

For David Byrne and crew, it was a natural progression – and, quite honestly, for them to have ignored any of the steps they had taken on their journey towards musical growth would have been a mistake. And yet, while this is an enjoyable album, it still feels like some key element is missing. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The disc is best known for two larger hits - “And She Was” and “Stay Up Late,” two tracks which remain some of my favorite music from the band (though “Once In A Lifetime” has never been topped – yet). “Road To Nowhere” was a little bit lesser of a hit, but its innovative video cemented the song into my brain for eternity – and, honestly, it's a good track.

The remaining six songs on Little Creatures are not bad songs, but when held up to the three that are the best known, they aren't quite as strong. “Walk It Down” could have been a hit song, at least in my mind, and one has to wonder what the impetus was behind “Give Me Back My Name”. The sole instance where a country influence is felt, “Creatures Of Love,” only suffers from a lack of lyrical development; rhythm-wise, it's quite enjoyable.

I won't sit here and say that songs like “Perfect World” or “Television Man” are bad tracks – far from it, in fact. But they don't have the same magic that others do – and, on a disc with only nine songs (at least in its original form; the 2005 remaster includes early versions of “Road To Nowhere” and “And She Was,” as well as an extended mix of “Television Man”, none of which are ground-breaking), the importance of the “wow” factor on all the songs is that much more important. While these songs are pleasant enough, that moment of “wow” just isn't there.

This doesn't mean that Little Creatures is a bad album; indeed, it's very listenable from beginning to end. But if you're expecting to hear musical excellence a la “And She Was” on each of the nine tracks, you will face a bit of a letdown.

Rating: B-

User Rating: B



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