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If "More Songs" saw Byrne and co. poke fun at the sophomore LP syndrome (a few tracks not good enough to land on the debut and a couple of rushed singles thrown together quickly enough to capitalise on any hype) with an utterly ironic album title, "Fear Of Music" was an outright attempt to put a little distance between the band and their new found success.
Just imagine a largely white rockist audience trying to wrap their heads around the polyrhythmic brilliance of African-inspired opener "I Zimbra", complete with nonsense lyrics from poet Hugo Ball. Yet after that emphatic opener (which would pave the way for the next LP), things settle into a familiar angular pattern, though perhaps more sparse and gloomy than previous offerings. Standout single "Life During Wartime" romps along with frenetic pace and synth bombast, while the expansive and melodic "Heaven" provides a moment of pure beauty. The anxious "Animals" showcases the deepening rhythmical complexity from Frantz, Weymouth and Harrison, while closer "Drugs" offers Eno opportunity to road test the tape loops which would eventually lead to "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts".
Life During Wartime
Memories Can't Wait