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American Utopia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Utopia
A crude painting outlining a human body overlooking skyscrapers
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 9, 2018 (2018-03-09)
Studio
Genre
Length37:17
Label
Producer
David Byrne chronology
Brass Tactics
(2014)
American Utopia
(2018)

American Utopia is the tenth studio album by British-American rock musician David Byrne, released on March 9, 2018 through Todo Mundo and Nonesuch Records. The release is his first true solo studio album since 2004's Grown Backwards, and serves as a musical component of a larger multimedia project titled Reasons to Be Cheerful, which attempts to spread positivity. Byrne announced the album and posted its lead single, "Everybody's Coming to My House", online on January 8, 2018.[1] The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Alternative Music Album.[2]

Recording and release

The album is part of a larger multimedia project titled Reasons to Be Cheerful which aims to give reasons for being happy and optimistic in spite of political strife and environmental problems.[1] The title is derived from the Ian Dury song "Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3".[3]

Reception

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.0/10[4]
Metacritic72/100[5]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[6]
The A.V. ClubB[7]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[8]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[9]
The Guardian2/5 stars[10]
Mojo4/5 stars[11]
NME4/5 stars[12]
Pitchfork5.8/10[13]
Q4/5 stars[14]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[15]

American Utopia received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 72 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[5] The Arts Desk's Howard Male gave the album a positive review calling it a "a muscular and quirky return to form".[16] Erik Adams of The A.V. Club gave the album a B, calling the album an uneven "mixed bag" but praising the album's themes.[7]

Commercial reception

American Utopia became Byrne's first solo top 10 album on the Billboard 200, debuting at No. 3 with the equivalent of 63,000 copies sold in the United States.[17]

Adaptations

The release of the album was backed by a world tour that lasted from March to November 2018. The elaborate concert included an empty stage surrounded by metal chains and a cast of twelve musicians (including Byrne himself) wearing identical gray suits. Cutting-edge technology in wireless audio, MIDI, lighting and real-time tracking was used to totally untether the musicians from any cables, allowing free movement and complex choreography like in Byrne's previous tours. In addition to songs from American Utopia, the setlist incorporated material from Byrne's solo catalogue, several hits by Talking Heads and a cover of Janelle Monáe's "Hell You Talmbout".

In September 2019, an altered version of the concert was previewed at the Colonial Theatre in Boston. It now featured small changes to the setlist and to the structure to achieve a format closer to that of a musical stage production. It premiered on Broadway at the Hudson Theatre in previews on October 4, 2019 and officially on October 20, closing on February 16, 2020.[18] It was set to return to the Hudson for another limited engagement in September 2020, but this was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A new six-month run started on September 17, 2021, now at the St. James Theatre.

A cast recording of the production titled American Utopia on Broadway was released in 2019 and received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album nomination.[19] A documentary/concert film version of the Broadway play was directed by Spike Lee and released in late 2020,[20] on HBO.[21]

An homonymous picture book was released in late 2020, intended to be a companion piece to the Broadway show.[22] The book includes words and lyrics by Byrne and illustrations by Maira Kalman.

Track listing

All tracks are written by David Byrne and Brian Eno, except where noted.

American Utopia – Standard edition
No.TitleLength
1."I Dance Like This"3:33
2."Gasoline and Dirty Sheets"3:19
3."Every Day Is a Miracle"4:46
4."Dog's Mind"2:29
5."This Is That" (Byrne, Daniel Lopatin)4:31
6."It's Not Dark Up Here"4:10
7."Bullet"3:09
8."Doing the Right Thing"3:38
9."Everybody's Coming to My House"3:29
10."Here" (Byrne, Lopatin)4:13
Total length:37:17
American Utopia – Deluxe digital edition
No.TitleLength
11."I Zimbra" (Live From Kings Theatre, September 2018) (Byrne, Eno, Hugo Ball)3:12
12."Every Day Is a Miracle" (Live From Kings Theatre, September 2018)4:49
13."Everybody's Coming to My House" (Live From Kings Theatre, September 2018)3:44
14."This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" (Live From Kings Theatre, September 2018) (Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth)4:54
15."Dog's Mind" (Live From Kings Theatre, September 2018)2:57
16."Toe Jam" (Live From Kings Theatre, September 2018) (Byrne, Dylan Mills)3:43
Total length:60:36

Personnel

A series of performers in gray suits onstage, marching together
The American Utopia Tour featured elaborate choreography, a variety of instruments, and matching gray suits for the personnel
Eno smiling
American Utopia continues the collaboration between Byrne and British electronic musician Brian Eno (pictured in 2017) that stretches back to the late 1970s

Personnel according to David Byrne's homepage.[23]

  • David Byrne – vocals; guitar on "I Dance Like This", "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Every Day Is a Miracle", "It's Not Dark Up Here", "Bullet", "Doing the Right Thing", "Everybody's Coming to My House", and "Here"; keyboards on "I Dance Like This", "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Bullet", and "Everybody's Coming to My House"; pads on "Everybody's Coming to My House"; production
  • Airhead – drums on "Bullet"
  • Ben Anderson – cymbal on "Every Day Is a Miracle"
  • Isaiah Barr – saxophone on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets" and "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Thomas Bartlett (Doveman) – Mellotron on "I Dance Like This" "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Bullet", and "Everybody's Coming to My House"; piano on "I Dance Like This"
  • Jamie Edwards – sitar samples on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets"
  • Brian Eno – drum programming, vocoder, background vocals and "prog ride tracks" on "I Dance Like This"; keyboards on "It's Not Dark Up Here" and "Doing the Right Thing"; percussion on "It's Not Dark Up Here" and "Everybody's Coming to My House"; voice effects, whistling, celeste, and brass on "It's Not Dark Up Here"; drums on "Doing the Right Thing"; "robot rhythm guitar" on "Everybody's Coming to My House"; original tracks
  • Alex Epton – drum programming on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "It's Not Dark Up Here", and "Doing the Right Thing"; choir programming on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", synthesizer stabs on "Every Day Is a Miracle", bass guitar on "Bullet", cymbals on "Doing the Right Thing"; shaker on "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Ethan P. Flynn – "middle 8 section synthesizer" on "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Happa – drum programming on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets" and "Everybody's Coming to My House", electronics and drums on "Every Day Is a Miracle", synthesizer solo on "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Jam City – synth stabs, guitar, and drums on "Every Day Is a Miracle"
  • Nathan Jenkins – harmonica solo and voices on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets"
  • Koreless – drums on "Every Day Is a Miracle"
  • Daniel Lopatin – keyboards on "Dog's Mind", "This Is That", "Doing the Right Thing", and "Here", drums on "Dog's Mind", "This Is That", and "Here", synthesizers and bass on "Dog's Mind", processing and textures on "Doing the Right Thing" and "Everybody's Coming to My House"; strings on "Doing the Right Thing"
  • Rodaidh McDonald – arrangements on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Every Day Is a Miracle", "Dog's Mind", "This Is That", and "Here"; additional keyboards on "I Dance Like This", "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Every Day Is a Miracle", "It's Not Dark Up Here", "Doing the Right Thing", "Everybody's Coming to My House"; drum programming on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Every Day Is a Miracle", "Dog's Mind", "This Is That", "It's Not Dark Up Here", "Bullet" "Doing the Right Thing", and "Everybody's Coming to My House"; "verse percussion" on "I Dance Like This", bells on "It's Not Dark Up Here", strings on "Bullet"; production
  • MMPH – main orchestral arrangement and sounds on "Doing the Right Thing"
  • Magnus Bang Olsen – piano on "Every Day Is a Miracle"
  • Jack Peñate – keyboards on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets", "Every Day Is a Miracle", and "Bullet"; backing vocals on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets" and "Bullet"; textures on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets"; drums, bass and shaker on "Every Day Is a Miracle"
  • Ariel Rechtshaid – flexatone on "It's Not Dark Up Here"
  • Ben Reed – live bass on "Every Day Is a Miracle" and "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Mauro Refosco – percussion on "It's Not Dark Up Here", "Bullet", "Doing the Right Thing", and "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Sampha – piano on "Everybody's Coming to My House"
  • Jaakko Savolainen – guitar, bass guitar, and synthesizer on "Gasoline and Dirty Sheets"; keyboards on "Every Day Is a Miracle"
  • Joey Waronker – tom and snare on "I Dance Like This"
  • Joe Williams – harp on "This Is That"
  • Brian Wolfe – drums on "Doing the Right Thing"

Technical personnel

Charts

References

  1. ^ a b Adams, Erik (January 8, 2018). "David Byrne's first solo album in 14 years is coming this March". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "David Byrne's AMERICAN UTOPIA Nominated For Best Alternative Album Grammy Award". BroadwayWorld.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "David Byrne's New Album, American Utopia, Due March 9 on Todomundo / Nonesuch Records". Nonesuch Records. January 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "American Utopia by David Byrne reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "American Utopia by David Byrne Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 6, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Deming, Mark. "American Utopia – David Byrne". AllMusic. Archived from the original on January 31, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Adams, Erik (March 8, 2018). "David Byrne can be your guide to an uneven American Utopia". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on June 18, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  8. ^ McCormick, Neil (March 8, 2018). "David Byrne's American Utopia is another glittering offering from an old master – review". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  9. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (March 16, 2018). "David Byrne: American Utopia". Entertainment Weekly: 107.
  10. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (March 9, 2018). "David Byrne: American Utopia review – anxiety dreams from centrist dad". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Segal, Victoria (April 2018). "David Byrne: American Utopia". Mojo (293): 95.
  12. ^ Cochrane, Greg (March 5, 2018). "David Byrne – 'American Utopia' Review". NME. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  13. ^ Rytlewski, Evan (March 12, 2018). "David Byrne: American Utopia". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on July 27, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  14. ^ Doyle, Tom (April 2018). "Dream Team". Q (383): 114.
  15. ^ Hermes, Will (March 9, 2018). "Review: David Byrne Throws a Weird Party in His Mind on 'American Utopia'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 7, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Male, Howard (March 3, 2018). "CD: David Byrne – American Utopia". The Arts Desk. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Caulfield, Keith (March 18, 2018). "David Byrne Achieves First Top 10 Album on Billboard 200 Chart with American Utopia". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  18. ^ "David Byrne's American Utopia Gets Monthlong Extension on Broadway". Broadway.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  19. ^ "Jagged Little Pill, American Utopia, Soft Power & More Earn Grammy Nominations". Broadway.com. Archived from the original on December 1, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  20. ^ Krep, Daniel (February 1, 2020). "Spike Lee to Direct Film Version of David Byrne's American Utopia Broadway Show". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
  21. ^ Hayes, Britt (June 17, 2020). "HBO Will Premiere David Byrne's American Utopia, Filmed by Spike Lee". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on June 17, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  22. ^ "'American Utopia' Book Argues For The Reincarnation Of Hope In The American Project". npr.org. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  23. ^ "Credits (and Lyrics) to American Utopia". David Byrne. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  24. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #464". auspOp. March 17, 2018. Archived from the original on December 24, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  25. ^ "Austriancharts.at – David Byrne – American Utopia" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Byrne – American Utopia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Byrne – American Utopia" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  28. ^ "David Byrne Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  29. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201811 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  30. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – David Byrne – American Utopia" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  31. ^ "Lescharts.com – David Byrne – American Utopia". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  32. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – David Byrne – American Utopia" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  33. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography David Byrne". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  34. ^ "Italiancharts.com – David Byrne – American Utopia". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
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  36. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. March 19, 2018. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  37. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – David Byrne – American Utopia". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
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  39. ^ "Swisscharts.com – David Byrne – American Utopia". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  40. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  41. ^ Caulfield, Keith (March 18, 2018). "Logic Scores Second No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Bobby Tarantino II'". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 19, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  42. ^ "David Byrne Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  43. ^ "Top Rock Albums – Year-End 2018". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 19 September 2021, at 02:35
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