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The music of Talking Heads has always been on the fringe of pop. True eccentrics, the members of the group have created songs on such unlikely topics as buildings, civil servants and mental health set to music ranging from American new wave to African tribal rhythms. Their new album, Little Creatures, continues to examine everyday thoughts and things--from television to babies and domestic bliss--and, because the group has now dropped African rhythms in favor of simple pop tunes, the album's music is easier to understand. On "Creatures of Love," an amiable country-and-western tune about human reproduction, David Byrne sings with childlike amazement about how "little creatures come out" after a man and a woman lie together. "Televison Man" portrays a TV fanatic who is unfashionably proud of his fetish. The exception to the album's straightforward musical approach is "Road to Nowhere," a bizarre blend of gospel voices, Cajun-style accordion and a military drum. In the simplest songs on the album, the group offers new ways of looking at things that people think they understand. But at other times Talking Heads still like to keep everyone guessing.
Originally published in Maclean's July 15, 1985