A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Little Creatures, the sixth album by Talking Heads, was the group's most successful album and is widely considered their most accessible work. The record -- by the same art-punk band that cracked Billboard's Hot 100 chart for the first time in '78 with "Psycho Killer" -- is full of catchy songs that incorporate some world music and American roots influences. Some songs are dreamlike, and most of the lyrics are tongue-in-cheek; Talking Heads rarely played a scene straight. On the whole, there are just a few (nongraphic) references to sex, almost no violence, and no profanity. The only potentially age-inappropriate line is the one in "Stay Up Late" about a baby's "little pee pee," which young kids will repeat and giggle over.
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What's the story?
Talking Heads were an art-punk band that came out of the same New York scene that spawned bands such as The Ramones and Blondie. The group was founded by three students who attended the Rhode Island School of Design: singer David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth, and drummer Chris Frantz; the bandmates later added multi-instrumentalist Jerry Harrison. Talking Heads were known for infusing their ironic songs with elements of world music, such as steel drums and other percussion pieces. LITTLE CREATURES was the band's most successful and accessible album, rising to No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart and including three Top 40 hits ("And She Was," "Road to Nowhere," and "Stay Up Late"). The group made two more albums after Little Creatures (True Stories and Naked) but disbanded in 1988. The bandmembers last performed together when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Is it any good?
Little Creatures is full of infectious pop songs with memorable hooks and similar instrumentation. The addition of ethnic percussion, accordions, and saxophones to the group's four-piece rock band adds a lot of interest, and frontman David Byrne seems particularly at ease singing these songs, which are right in his vocal range. The album as a whole has a very relaxed, warm feel. Highlights include the charming song "Creatures of Love" and the record's three Top 40 hits: "Road to Nowhere," "And She Was," and "Stay Up Late."
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