THE HEADS -- No Talking Just Head (MCA)

This is one of those CDs that looks great in the store, but fails miserably when you actually get it home and listen to it. The Heads are essentially what's left of Talking Heads--minus David Byrne--with different vocalists on each of the songs. Byrne tried to sue the others over the use of the name, but ended up settling out of court. Byrne retained control of anything Talking Heads related, & the rest of the band members get to call themselves The Heads.

The CD gets off to a great start with "Damage I've Done," a killer track with vocals by ex-Concrete Blonde vocalist, Johnette Napolitano. Michael Hutchence (INXS) turns in a decent performance on "The King is Gone," a song that sounds like it could be a Casual Gods outtake. Unfortunately, the rest of the disc falls flat. The lack of a single vocalist throughout the CD takes its toll quickly. There's no sense of cohesiveness, and the songs just aren't that good.

The Heads just finished a US tour with Napolitano joining the group (on the tour, and for the next studio album) as the 'official' lead vocalist. In a concert setting--with one vocalist--the songs from the CD held up much better. They debuted some new songs on the tour, tentatively planned to appear on the next album. These songs were better than most of No Talking Just Head. Hopefully, this will be a preview of what we can expect in the future.

© 1996 Steve Marshall