Big Love Hymnal

August 19, 2008 | Format: MP3

$8.99
Also available in CD Format
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Release Date: August 19, 2008
  • Label: Todo Mundo
  • Copyright: 2008 Todomundo
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001CN3P88
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,866 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
May David Byrne never retire. Though his pop albums likely quench a larger part of his fan base, his instrumental works nonetheless remain intriguing listens. His latest work along these lines, "Big Love: Hymnal," falls right in the tradition of his juicy non-pop work "The Catherine Wheel" (a largely early instrumental work), "The Last Emperor," "The Forest" and "Lead Us Not Into Temptation." Listeners who enjoy those albums will also swoon to this one. The music has a lilting pleasant quality at times reminiscent of The Penguin Café Orchestra. Byrne's unmistakable voice provides a thick layer of "oohs" to many tracks. The opening track, with its right-out-of-the-bible sounding title "Art Thou Greater Than He?" will dance among pleasure center neurons for hours. Be sure to "oooh" along.

Byrne's website states that these tunes were crafted after Mormon hymns. They played as incidental music for the HBO series "Big Love," though Byrne says he altered some tracks for better playability. Though not Byrne's most penetrating work (some of it does play like film or tv background music), it nonetheless provides more than enough interesting hooks and "oohs" to stand up to repeated listenings. As incidental music it must have been incredible. Many Byrne trademarks permeate the 21 tiny songs (all except one run under three minutes), including slide guitar, chunky strings, melodic horns, catchy guitar workings, and, as mentioned, the voice-as-instrument in the mix. Of course there's a big finale. Byrne explodes on the final track as... Elvis? No, he does not impersonate the ubiquitous perennially undead King, but he does play a moving interpretation of "Blue Hawaii." Yes, Byrne closes with a number from an Elvis movie. He pulls it off.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amaranth on October 30, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
David Byrne's "Big Love Hymnal" is an innovative soundtrack for HBO's series about a Mormon polygamist family in suburban Salt Lake City. Byrne,of course,won an Oscar for his "Last Emperor" soundtrack... and an interesting coincidence,his music accompanied the wedding night of Pu Yi with his Empress and his concubine. "Big Love Hymnal" is the fruit of Byrne's study of Mormon hymns. It's got a little bit of Americana,some ambient music,trance, and folk.

"Big Love" opens with the evocative hymn "Art thou greater than He?" "A Hill in Ontario County" sounds like a folk song,with dulcimer. "Deep Water" is a surrealistic,dreamlike piece. "A Building in the Air" and "A House on Sand" evoke the deserts of the Southwest. One can imagine the mesas, and Cohab Canyon,where polygamists fled in the 19th century. "Mouth of Malachi" and "Angel Moroni" are a study in contrasts. The former has a seductive electric guitar,the latter has a majestic horn,resounding like a hymn. "Murmur Not" and "Unclean Spirits" are breezy, trancelike pieces. The closing song is Byrne's amazing cover of Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii."

"Big Love Hymnal" is a spiritual and sonic delight.
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