50 Years, 50 Albums (2018): American Utopia by David Byrne

I will turn 50 in November of this year, so my project for 2023 will be to listen to and review one album from each year of my life, 1973 to 2022.  The only qualification is that it has to be an album I’ve not reviewed previously.  If you have any suggestions for albums from the past 50 years, please drop them in the comments!


Top Grossing Albums of 2018:

  • Taylor Swift – Reputation
  • Drake – Scorpion
  • Post Malone – beerbongs & bentleys
  • Soundtrack – The Greatest Showman
  • Ed Sheeran – ÷ (Divide)

Grammy Award for Album of the Year and Nominees for 2018:

  • Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
  • Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
  • Brandi Carlile – By the Way, I Forgive You
  • Post Malone – beerbongs & bentleys
  • Janelle Monáe – Dirty Computer
  • Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By

My Favorite Albums of 2018:

Album: American Utopia
Artist: David Byrne
Release Date: March 9, 2018
Label: Nonesuch | Todo Mundo
Favorite Tracks:

  • I Dance Like This
  • Every Day Is A Miracle
  • Dog’s Mind
  • Doing the Right Thing


Despite my Talking Heads fandom, I’ve never delved deep into David Byrne’s solo work.  His most recent album, American Utopia, seems like a good place to start especially since it’s release in 2018 it’s prompted a concert film directed by Spike Lee and a run on Broadway! The album addresses the crises of the Trump Era head on but does so in a way that pushes optimism.  This is going to sound like a back-handed compliment, but Byrne has a way of experimenting with music that has a wonderful sameness.  I guess that’s how he’s been able to be so successful at making quirky and innovative music that is also popular.  That is kind of a metaphor for the album itself where Byrne tries to draw a reassuring optimism from troubled times.

Now I’m going to have to try to watch the American Utopia film for my 50 Years 50 Movies project.

Rating: ***1/2

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