Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Heads: No Talking, Just Head

Okay, you've got three musicians who used to be in one of the greatest groups of all time. The band, Talking Heads, has long since broken up. What do you do? If you're The Heads, you recruit a revolving cast of singers with stalled careers (Debbie Harry, Michael Hutchence, Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano, Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano), and ask them to add lyrics and vocals to a bunch of songs that are alternately derivative of your former work and derivative of current musical trends. Next, you take a name and create an album cover so similar to those of your former band that it ensures purchase by confused and habitual fans. While there are a few bright spots on No Talking Just Head—particularly the contribution of XTC's Andy Partridge—the overall effect is more sad than anything else. The members of The Heads are better off either reuniting with their former leader or fading gracefully into obscurity; this sort of crushing mediocrity does no one any good. A sticker on the outside of the CD warns, "This is a new record by The Heads, not Talking Heads." They at least got that much right.

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