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Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense

I’m in the middle of a big move, one of the biggest of my life. While it only takes me a little over an hour away, I have more to move than I ever have. Over the last three years, my wife and I have collected a lot of houseplants, succulents, and cacti; pets; the typical household items; and a lot of tools and building materials. Yet, we all know that moving involves much more, such as cleaning and prepping to sell it. All of it is very stressful.​


Brijean brought my attention to Stop Making Sense: A Tribute Album because of her Instagram posts and stories, and as anyone who reads my Alt Revue posts can attest, I love writing reviews that include Brijean. Although I know I should be sorting and packing the stuff in my basement workshop, I had to take a break from it to write up a small post on this release.

 

I enjoy albums like Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense because I love it when bands cover other artists’ songs. At live shows, it is a great way to connect with an audience and kick a show into high gear. If you need an example, listen to the second set opener Phish uses to get the crowd going in East Troy, WI, on June 21, 2009.

​For this review, I go through each song and share some thoughts. Overall, I love that some artists stick to the original more while others branch out into their own style. It is a good blend, and I hope you enjoy it.

 

“Psycho Killer” (Miley Cyrus) – She updates this song for a new generation. Instead of being the background of a slow, cat-and-mouse psychological thriller, the Cyrus version is a cheetah chasing down an antelope.

“Heaven” (The National) – Although I do not know this song as well as some of the others on this album, I will say that choosing The National to cover it is perfect.  


“Thank You for Sending Me an Angel” (Blondshell) – They slowed this song down. The beginning reminds me of Mazzy Star. While I think I am a bigger fan of the Talking Heads style, Blondshell does great with this.

“Found a Job” (The Linda Lindas) – This is an excellent, slightly edgier take on the post-punk Talking Heads version. The Linda Lindas version has a fuller sound. I like it a lot.


“Slippery People” (El Mató a un Policía Motorizado) – The South American version, and I have to say that I love this one. For some reason, it gives me a Leonard Cohen vibe.

“Burning Down the House” (Paramore) – While they do not stretch it away from the original version as much as some of the other artists, this is a great song for Paramore. Hayley Williams’s voice is perfect for it.


“Life During Wartime” (DJ Tunez) – Here is a different version. The more I listen to this album, the more I wonder if it makes sense to push the boundaries of the typically wider-known songs. I can say that I was not expecting this version when it started. However, that does not mean I do not like it; I do. DJ Tunez takes the Stop Making Sense challenge and makes “Life During Wartime” his song.


“Making Flippy Floppy” (Teezo Touchdown) – If 1982 Prince produced a version of this song from a prophetic dream, this is what I imagine it would sound like. So much “Making Flippy Floppy” while also its own version.

“Swamp” (Jean Dawson) – I do not know the Talking Heads version of this song very well. However, Jean Dawson’s version made me reexplore it and look into him as an artist. A lot isgoing on here. You should definitely check it out.


“What a Day That Was” (The Cavemen.) – This is another song I do not know very well, but a tribute album like this can help us take a fresh look at something we thought we knew. I love the “High Fusion” sound The Cavemen. bring.

“This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)”


(BADBADNOTGOOD and Norah Jones) – When I saw this duo, I was very excited. Norah Jones has one of the best voices in the entire world, and I have also listened to BADBADNOTGOOD for a while now. A song that I have heard covered in concert by a few bands, I was glad they got Norah Jones for this project.


“Once in a Lifetime” (Kevin Abstract) – This is an interesting version. I can definitely appreciate it. Not exactly like the original, but not so far from it that we question the artist. Solid.


“Genius of Love” (Toro y Moi and Brijean) – Some Brijean Instagram stories and posts brought me to this song and album. I have to admit when I saw the title, I did not know it. However, once I started listening . . . ‘wait, what? I know this. I thought it was a Tom Tom Club song; Talking Heads covered it?’ I confess; I’m late to the show. Anyway, Toro y Moi and Brijean give us a very clean and Tom Tom Club sounding version.


“Girlfriend is Better” (girl in red) – I wonder if the artists had the option to choose the songs they would like to cover when this album was being put together. Whether or not they did, girl in red was perfect for “Girlfriend is Better.” Marie Ulven Ringheim’s voice and the music are on point. Great interpretation of this song.


“Take Me to the River” (Lorde) – Where has Lorde been? It’s been over ten years since the world fell in love with her and “Royals.” While I have not followed her or her career, I absolutely loved hearing her take on the Talking Heads’ cover of this Al Green song. It is the perfect reason for people to listen to this entire album.


“Crosseyed and Painless” (Chicano Batman, Money Mark) – Yes! As a Phish Phan, I was nervous before listening to this song. I love when they cover it, and they can stretch it out. The shortest version is nine minutes twenty-two seconds, played in Chicago on October 13, 2023, and on the fourth night of Phish’sBaker’s Dozen run, July 25, 2017, the band stretched it out for over thirty-three minutes. That said, I was completely impressed with the Chicano Batman and Money Mark version. Their clean, fast-paced electronica style hit home with me and earned both performers a new fan.

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