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YMMV / David Byrne

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  • Crazy Awesome: Byrne's output as a musician is generally considered to be this trope, combining his eccentricity with innovative composition techniques and compelling subject matter (even when it's something as mundane as breathing).
  • Critical Dissonance: From Uh-Oh to Look Into the Eyeball, Byrne's albums tended not to be the biggest critical darlings, often being considered run-of-the-mill at best. Fans however enjoy these works a great deal more; it helps that Uh-Oh built off of the sound Talking Heads ended off on and that an MP3 of "Like Humans Do" from Look Into the Eyeball was bundled with Windows XP.
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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The performances for the American Utopia seem to be this among fans of both Byrne and Talking Heads, thanks to its combination of Byrne's past and present music with performance artistry techniques; many have described it as an arguable rival to Stop Making Sense.
  • Signature Song:
    • "Like Humans Do", thanks to being bundled as a demonstration for Windows Media Player circa-Windows XP.
    • Talking Heads fans may also consider "What a Day That Was" as this, given how it was the sole track from The Catherine Wheel to be included in Stop Making Sensenote .
  • Nightmare Fuel: "Horses", a nightMAREish (get it) track written for an interpretive dance. The song is most famous for being the subject of an urban legend, out of all things. An otherwise disturbing song.
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  • Tough Act to Follow: While the success he achieved with Talking Heads gave him an unspoken Auteur License to do whatever the fuck he wants with his music, his solo work has perpetually existed within the shadow of his old band, to the point where many have listened to or at least heard of Talking Heads, but are completely unaware of Byrne's solo career. Byrne could put out an album that cures cancer in everyone who hears it, and people will still bug him about reuniting Talking Heads.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • During one portion of the "self-interview" he did to promote Stop Making Sense, Byrne dons blackface for one of the interviewer characters. It's plainly obvious that there wasn't any racist intent behind it, as the black interviewer lacks any negative elements of his portrayal and is just as deadpan and quirky as the other characters. Byrne has also consistently been quite visibly progressive-minded, among other things openly criticizing Westernization & police brutality and working to give artists outside the Anglosphere greater visibility. However, regardless of that, the blackface bit definitely hasn't aged well.
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    • "Now I'm Your Mom" repeatedly straddles the line between this trope and Values Resonance. The song's attitudes towards transgender people are surprisingly positive for something from 1992, among other things comparing the process of coming to terms with one's gender identity to a caterpillar's metamorphosis into a butterfly. However, the song still shows its age in the opening verse, where the narrator asserts that her daughter's gender identity is tethered to her biological sex and describes sex change operations as "[changing] what nature made" (despite being a post-operative transgender woman herself). Byrne affecting a stereotypically feminine sing-song voice for the Title Drop also probably wouldn't fly nowadays, nor would the positive comparisons to Christopher Columbus.

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