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Tom Tom Club

Tom Tom Club

1981

Buy At Rough Trade
Tom Tom Club
Album Summary

Tom Tom Club is the debut studio album by Tom Tom Club, released in 1981, containing the UK hit singles "Wordy Rappinghood", which reached No. 7 in June 1981 and "Genius of Love", which reached No. 65 in October of the same year. It was re-released in the UK in 1982 to include "Under the Boardwalk", which reached No. 22 in August 1982. When released in the United States, "Genius of Love" peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. Both "Wordy Rappinghood" and "Genius of Love" topped the US dance chart. The album was re-released on May 19, 2009, as a part of a two-CD deluxe package with the band's second album, Close to the Bone. The album was further reissued on Limited Edition white vinyl by Real Gone Music on March 1, 2019. Slant Magazine listed the album at No. 87 on its Best Albums of the 1980s list.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.02

Votes

10614

Genres

  • New Wave
  • Funk

Reviews

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Thu Apr 13 2023
5

"Genius of Love" is bonkers in the best way. The whole album is a wild ride that goes all over the place, but maintains a fun and playful spirit throughout. David Byrne is a fascinating figure, but this really shows you how much Frantz and Weymouth brought to the Talking Heads sound. Absolutely bursting with creative energy but doesn't take itself too seriously. One of the best side projects of all time.

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Wed Aug 09 2023
2

It's all a bit weird and silly and shit.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
2

After listening i can only get hard while listening to the long version of Genius of Love. 2/5

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Fri May 12 2023
5

With their band on top of their game, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz decided that sitting on their hands while their elastic, observant and forever curious frontman went out and explored new territories wasn't going to work for them and, in the process, set about standing out from the pack in more ways than one. For this debut album from the Tom Tom Club, with its hand-drawn aesthetic and endless nods to emerging hip-hop culture and post-disco reverie, evokes a interminable summer vibe where it is blissful to be young with no worries in the world and little need to be skeptical and suspicious about things. In Tom Tom Club's world, it's just them and scores more would come, on and on... there are more of them, more than anyone would realize.

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Tue May 16 2023
5

One I have on vinyl. A very strong piece of evidence that Weymouth and Frantz were the genius of the Talking Heads, rather than David Byrne (the truth is it's all of them). Just 8 tracks of funk/reggae/hip-hop inflected weirdness. Joy. If you listen to Genius of Love and don't want to bop, you may be medically dead

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Sat May 20 2023
4

I think "infectious" is the best word to describe this album. Just some great grooves. I've always thought that Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were criminally overlooked and underrated as the key to the Talking Heads' sound. It's like people thought Talking Heads was all David Byrne and the rest were just session musicians. Anyway, this is a great album and showcase for Chris and Tina, with help from Adrian Belew and others. 4 stars.

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Thu Sep 28 2023
4

is this the kind of album that hipsters listen to when they congregate?

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Thu Apr 13 2023
4

This is wild. First track is like "wtf is going on, it's catchy though... this is like new wave Kraftwerk". Then I saw it was Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth from The Talking Heads and it all made sense. Ohhh shit Genius of Love, I've heard this. The synth and random chirps are so good. This is like a different take on "Once In a Lifetime" by Talking Heads. I will say overall some of the songs overstay their welcome a bit and I wish a few stopped 2 mins earlier, but overall a grand showcase of what others besides David Byrne add to Talking Heads. I'm in heaven With the maven of funk mutationa

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Sun Apr 28 2024
4

Proof that Talking Heads was more than David Byrne. The OTHER members keep pushing limits in what is an instrument to song composition.

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Mon May 13 2024
4

Better than at least two of the Talking Heads records on this list.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
3

Finally! I've been waiting for this album on the list. I used to think that Genius of Love and Wordy Rappinghood were two of the most ingenious songs of the 80s! Brilliant unique sound and I have wanted to hear the rest of the album. Standouts: Genius of Love, Wordy Rappinghood Others: L'éléphant Rating: 3.5

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Thu May 25 2023
3

Didn't expect to like this as much as I did. The beats are undeniable. This also has some "cool factor", if I put this on with company, i'd seem cool and obscure. All in all, a good time.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
3

Quirky sound and odd lyrics that result in some strange fun.

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Tue Jul 25 2023
2

I don't see the appeal of this album. It feels more like a novelty record than actual music at times and many of the songs go on way longer than felt necessary. On the plus side, now I know where the sample in Fantasy came from!

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Tue Sep 19 2023
5

I love literally anything even tangentially related to Talking Heads, so I am all about this shit. Can I join the club???

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Thu Apr 27 2023
4

I could hear the music that this album went on to influence. In its infancy, hip hop has something to pay homage to here with the style and daring Visio. From Tom Tom Club. Not perfect, but visionary.

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Thu May 04 2023
4

Þetta er hressileg plata, skemmtilegur early 80s hljóðheimur og ein dansgólfsbomba.

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Tue May 02 2023
3

Good performances by the aforementioned great rhythm section of Talking Heads. This album reveals they would have most likely been stuck in their TH77 days if the songwriting had been more democratic. As a frontman and penman for their material, Chris and Tina needed David Byrne to take the next leap. I enjoyed this though.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
2

Aside from genius of love this is a pretty weird album that seems like a cross between kids songs and Halloween themed music. It’s unique and experimental but overall it’s a bit weird for me. I can see the talking heads pieces but the main guy is what made them great. This couple helped make them different. 5.2/10

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Sun Apr 23 2023
5

This is so fun! "Wordy Rappinghood" is just a blast. I recognize "Genius of Love" a little bit, but this is just a fun little album! I like how easy it is to, like, jam to it and it is just good vibes. While a lot ended up on my Ridiculous Music playlist, that is as a positive. Sometimes it's fun to get a little funky and silly and this album really embodies that!

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Mon Jun 12 2023
5

The opening bars of "Genius of Love" has to be one of the most sampled riffs ever, 20+ times by well-known bands – and the lyrics pay tribute to many of the great funk bands of the prior decades. “WordyRappinghood” is a nice bookend to Blondie’s “Rapture”, which came out a year earlier. Those were the only two songs I could name from this album, which I owned, as did my co-judge. But listening to it 40 years later, I like most of the supporting tracks as well. The production would have been quite fresh in 1981: L Elephant sounds like a Talking Heads rhythm track, especially with the addition of Adrian Belew’s guitar. They mix up the mood nicely, with dark funk like “Booming and Zooming” and Go-Go’s worthy anthems like “On On On”. The lyrics are clever, disguised by the Weymouth sisters' vocals. A catchy, well-rounded album.

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Mon Jul 31 2023
5

Caught Tom Tom Club at Glastonbury a few years ago and they were one of the most energetic and enthusiastic bands I saw, despite also being one of the oldest. This album transfers that feeling well; it's like you've been invited into their home and they're all giving you a big hug.

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Sun Oct 29 2023
5

The excitement I felt when this popped up… Funky, fun, experimental and so influential. I’ll always love anything Chris, Tina, David or Jerry touch, so this is an easy perfect score in my book.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

Perfect. Listened @ FTD, perfect.

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Thu Nov 30 2023
5

Like hip-hop dropped acid! So many original sounds in this album

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

I could listen to this on repeat. I was familiar with Genius of Love but none of the other songs.

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Mon Mar 04 2024
5

Loved this when it came out many years ago…It was fresh and revolutionary then. It remains fresh and revolutionary today.

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Thu Apr 04 2024
5

I'd been greatly looking forward to this, as I'm a Talking Heads convert and was aware of this side project from Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz. I loved it and will definitely be keeping this on my phone. I liked all of the songs but this album deserves 5 stars for "Wordy Rappinghood" alone.

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

Before MTV there was HBO Video Jukebox, and "Genius of Love" with its fun animated video played a lot between movies back then. I only knew the song from that context for a long time. I loved hearing the whole album today! It's fun and cool and I wish I'd listened to it long ago.

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Wed Apr 24 2024
5

Yeah, this album is still as great as it was in the 80s: two big hit singles and lots of other strong pop songs (such as On on on on, Booming & zooming). Of course, this is no Talking Heads (even though some songs like As Above So Below sound like typical TH songs) but I much prefer it over, say, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

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Mon May 06 2024
5

Great album. I'd heard lots of these songs before but never listened through. It definitely sounds like Talking Heads, but weird in sort of a different way. You can hear more of this upbeat fun kind of style in their next couple albums, so I wonder if that was Chris and Tina getting a bit more creative freedom without Eno around?

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Fri May 17 2024
5

Maybe the easiest 5 I've given. Fun, funky and weird and as good as any Talking Heads album.

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Fri May 31 2024
5

Well damn, this was a surprise! The only Tom Tom Club track I was aware of going in was "Genius of Love", and then it wasn't the whole song - it was the sample from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's "It's Nasty" and it's partial use in an episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia"! 😆 Based on that, I was kinda expecting some throwaway novelty record that would almost instantly become annoying to listen to. This actually slaps, though - like a far less obnoxious Public Image Ltd in places. New wave / post-punk / disco / world music all thrown together, but it sounds like its own thing. "Wordy Rappinghood" on paper should be radioactive cringe but in practice it really works! I guess because they're riffing on early hip-hop rather than trying to actually do hip-hop? Will definitely be checking out their other albums. Fave tracks - "Wordy Rappinghood", "Genius of Love", "As Above, So Below", and probably my absolute fave goes to "On,On,On,On..." - the optimism of that song healed my soul, a little

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Fri May 31 2024
5

This feels like an early 90s version of Superorganism which is right up my alley. Such a delightfully joyful bop along album. Faves? All of them

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Sat Apr 15 2023
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Wordy rappinghood, On on on on, Under the boardwalk

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Tue May 02 2023
4

Say what you will about Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, they really were firing on all cylinders on this album.

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Sat May 06 2023
4

A quality album, just always enjoy listening to Knopfler, even some of the more average stuff.

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Fri May 26 2023
4

Nice funky album from the Golden age of Talking Heads/Byrne&Eno/Tom Tom Club. Great rhythms, poppy (1st two songs) or more African beats.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
4

I am very amused but also confused. This sounds like something Ian would listen too. Overall it was fun background music, but I don't think I would play it with anyone around.

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Thu Jun 08 2023
4

Hypnotic beats whose frequent samplings make perfect sense. "Genius of Love" is the hookiest of all, with Lorelei" a bit of a revelation here, largely for having been forgotten. Better than one remembers; it's likably light-hearted and what once took as silly feels a touch more substantive now.

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Sun Jun 11 2023
4

A bizarre, funky, funny, catchy album filled with a French-style disco-esque charm. Really groovy! Also it's cool to see the origin of a sample, with Genius Of Love. Such a summery, catchy beat. Wordy Rappinghood, Genius Of Love and L'Elephant are the standout tracks for me here, and the others aren't quite as good or interesting to me, but this is still a very cool and groovy album that I think I'll look out for, to add to my record collection. Favourite: Wordy Rappinghood

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Mon Jun 12 2023
4

I liked this one. Sure they borrowed from Talking Heads but you can't steal from yourself right? It has a good groove and I really liked the percussion - more specifically - the tom-toms. Who would've guessed that would be their strong suit?

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Mon Jun 12 2023
4

Charming, joyfully odd, irresistibly fun. This is a funky, blippy and percussive musical adventure that invites us all to just embrace our inner weirdos and dance. Lots of little nuances that sound amazing coming through a pair of headphones. The album loses steam on the final few tracks, but it's an absolutely unique and delightful experience. Fave Songs: Genius of Love; Wordy Rappinghood; Lorelei; As Above, So Below; L'éléphant

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Thu Jun 15 2023
4

This album really snuck up on me. It started out with a goofy ass rap song that was somewhat cringe but I didn’t dislike it and it just grew in quality for me song by song. I was hit with the shock that the iconic genius of love riff came before it’s nasty and after that I was totally won over by tracks like as above so below, Lorelai, and under the boardwalk. The energy, quirkiness, and richness of the production is what makes it good I think. We’re it not for tracks like Tom Tom theme it’d get a 5 Edit: this whole album makes so much more sense knowing that it’s a side project of talking heads members that aren’t David byrne. Completely explains the eccentricity throughout.

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Thu Jun 15 2023
4

Really weird, but really great.

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Thu Jul 13 2023
4

Pretty much what I expected from a more poppy Talking Heads spin off. Pretty great honestly, Genius of Love is killer and there are definitely a few other songs here that I'll be putting on repeat. I always need more offbeat pop music in my life. Solid 4 with room to grow perhaps.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

While Under the Boardwalk could have been eliminated from this album, I loved every other song. I'm loving 80s music way more now than then.

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Tue Jul 25 2023
4

Surprising how much I enjoyed this album. It's not great, but it's good and I will listen to it again.

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Tue Jul 25 2023
4

I've listened to Genius of Love a lot. The rest of the album was a pleasant surprise. Would listen again. The best of the Talking Heads spin offs?

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Wed Jul 26 2023
4

B-52s vibes but the first couple songs are clearly the best part of the album. 7/10

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Wed Jul 26 2023
4

8/10. This kept me on my toes, and I liked that after a series of albums that were kinda what I expected after the first song. I don't know that I'd give it such a high rating on a repeat listen, but I did have a good time on this first one.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
4

I have no fucking idea what I just listened to but I'm here for it.

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Thu Aug 03 2023
4

Had never heard of this before, then clicked the wiki to see that it was a side project of half of Talking Heads (plus Adrian Belew who was on Remain in Light). So I was then pretty excited to hear it, and lo and behold, it's a fantastic album. Brings the eccentricity of the last Heads album and bumps up the danceability. Can't help but feel like this was a big influence on Belew as I hear a lot of similarities between this and the King Crimson album Discipline that he would record just months after this one. If you're a Talking Heads fan then this is almost like an extra album from their prime era to enjoy. Will be going back to this one for sure, especially Genius of Love, what a great song.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
4

I love Genius of Love, one of my favorite songs. Great dance album with interesting tunes and rhythms.

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Wed Aug 16 2023
4

Wow, I didn't know this bad (project) by name, but there are so, SO many tracks I had heard before. Case in point: Genius of Love. And the cover of Under the Boardwalk is utter genius. So while this may not be as iconic as a handful of other albums, I thoroughly enjoyed this. 4/5

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Mon Aug 28 2023
4

This is some fun summer music

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

Heard before. Really wacky and I love it. Liked almost every song besides On On On On and Booming and Zooming. + Wordy Rappinghood + Lorelei + L Elephant

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Sun Sep 03 2023
4

A fun train wreck! Maybe like a mad rollercoaster that goes wrong but no-one gets seriously hurt, so everyone just enjoyed the wild ride.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
4

I hadn't heard this before. It was fun and interesting.

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Sat Sep 16 2023
4

Unsurprisingly good grooves from Talking Heads’ rhythm section, surprisingly goofy and bizarre music. Genius of Love is a classic, Wordy Rappinghood is a hoot and if the rest doesn’t quite hit the same heights it’s an enjoyable, entertaining record.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
4

Just reviewed More Songs About Buildings and Food yesterday. I liked this one better somehow. You can definitely tell where a lot of Talking Heads sound comes from. Not afraid to let the tracks breathe a little bit.

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Thu Sep 28 2023
4

Väldigt annorlunda platta men det visste jag ju sedan tidigare. Bra är det i alla fall.

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Sun Oct 01 2023
4

El pas al costat abandonant temporalembt Talking Heads en el seu millor moment artístic, per donar vida a una proposta més centrada en les cançons, va ser, amb el prisma del temps, tot un encert. Deixant de banda els ritmes sincopats i les experimentacions amb què Eno i Byrne donaven forma als temes dels Heads en aquell període, Tina Weymouth i Chris Frantz, amb l'ajuda de gent tan top com Adrian Belew, creen un disc pel record. Cançons molt més enfocades a la melodia, amb la seva indubtable part d'experimentació, gairebé ineludible en aquells anys màgics. Un cert toc jamaicà acaba d'arrodonir un treball fantàstic, del tot addictiu

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Fri Oct 06 2023
4

Really great. The frenchy vibe is really good, and except some tracks which are meh, the others are great.

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Mon Oct 09 2023
4

Great fun, it does have elements of Remain In Light like the dance-funk of L’Elephant, On x4 and the slightly dark new wave of As Above, So Below. Genius of Love is undeniably influential on hip hop and music right up to the present, although recent samples are probably samples of samples with the new/young artists not actually being familiar with the original source! Overall good fun.

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Mon Oct 09 2023
4

Very innovative, with some wonderful tracks. A little dated now (which is fair for an album more than 40 years old)

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Thu Oct 12 2023
4

Oh this is Tina Weymouth's band. Finally an obscure weirdo pick that I'm familiar with. I'm not a fan of the Talking Heads mostly because I can't stand David Byrne's stupid yelps, so taking them out and replacing them with pleasant female vocals makes for a good album. I think this is how Talking Heads sound like to Talking Heads fans and my brain is just worm-infected. First two songs are amazing. "Genius of Love" might (semi-directly) be one of the most important songs of all time.

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Tue Oct 17 2023
4

I was surprised by how many songs I knew considering I hadn't heard of the band. Good stuff.

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Wed Oct 18 2023
4

so much fun, its a shame most of the album in not available on spotify.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
4

Not knowing anything about the band, the first thing I thought was “wow this is very talking heads”…then I read the article and found out it is in fact 2/3rds of the talking heads… amazing. This album is absolutely a bop. Only wish there was more of it. Standout tracks: Wordy Rappinghood, Genius of Love

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Fri Oct 27 2023
4

Great album. Never knew this band was Talking Heads members.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
4

This was great! Some songs stood out as very good, but the entire album was really nice.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
4

Love it, they have such a fun sound. I love hearing the Talking Heads influences but it's like they just went and had fun with that similar sound and did what they want without Mr Byrne hanging out. Like the Dad was out and they messed around

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Mon Nov 06 2023
4

I loved this! Aside from the ones I already knew quite a few but was very pleased to hear the new ones. I listened to the full 2 hour album on Spotify (obvs not the original album track listings). Light hearted, interesting, new wave excellence

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Fri Nov 10 2023
4

Really good album. Some memorable and catchy tracks on here, cool layered rhythms. It was great to listen to this album all the way through. I’d definitely heard quite a few tracks from it but hadn’t heard the whole thing. It’s very well done.

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Sun Nov 19 2023
4

I’m a bit ashamed to say I never listened to Tom Tom Club despite being a huge Talking Heads fan. I had always assumed that David Byrne is the creative drive. It turns out, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz are just as weird as Byrne and have the same penchant for interesting rhythms and abstract lyrics bordering on the absurd. It makes for a very interesting album that feels in many ways, like a continuation of their earlier work.

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Tue Nov 21 2023
4

4.0 - I love the first two tracks, especially “Genius of Love” with its striking blend of swirling eletro-noise, funk bass and dry female vocals - reminiscent of Stereolab. “L’elephant” and “As Above, So Below” sort of blend together as one song, and it starts to feel repetitive. The record, which started with incredible promise sort of trails off with the underwhelming “Lorelei” and confusing “Booming and Zooming.” I like the cover “Under the Boardwalk.” Still a fun listen though it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

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Mon Nov 27 2023
4

Possibly the most ahead-of-its-time album on the entire list. Musically sounds like it could have been made in 2017, not 1981.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
4

- no album needs to be this long. - wordy rappinghood kinda got me bopping tho

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

We have fun and we like the percussion and we enjoy the spoken word and we think it’s funny but also to be balanced don’t think every song is as good as others. We really like this one. Three and a half. Fave track: Genius Of Love

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

Get in me. Such good silly fun. Fav track: Genius of love

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Thu Jan 04 2024
4

Hipster wedding music?! Love it! 😀 Five Stars for Genius of Love, four for the album as a whole, though I do really like the Under the Boardwalk cover too.

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