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Big Love Hymnal

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Big Love Hymnal album cover
01
Art Thou Greater Than He?
2:06
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02
Exquisite Whiteness
2:04
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03
A Hill In Ontario County
1:25
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04
Written On Gold Plates
2:12
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05
Deep Water
2:07
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06
A Building In The Air
1:15
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07
Great Desolations
2:37
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08
A House On Sand
3:14
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09
The Mouth Of Malachi
1:39
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10
Cumorah!
1:14
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11
The Angel Moroni
1:56
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12
Murmur Not
1:14
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13
The Pearl Of Great Price
1:25
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14
Language Confounded
2:12
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15
Unclean Spirits
2:14
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16
A Persecution Followed
2:02
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17
The Breastplate Of Rightousness
1:33
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18
A Conduit To Heaven
2:37
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19
A Cloud Of Light
1:26
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20
The Burden Of The Word
2:35
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21
Blue Hawaii
1:28
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 21   Total Length: 40:35

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Wondering Sound

Review 0

Mark Kemp

Contributor

08.19.08
David Byrne, Big Love Hymnal
2008 | Label: Todo Mundo / Redeye

Even if you don't follow Big Love, the HBO series about a polygamous family for which David Byrne wrote these mostly instrumental beauties, you can enjoy the music. Like The Catherine Wheel (which this sounds nothing like), the music from Big Love actually holds together better than most of Byrne's vocal-based albums. Inspired by church hymns, the music combines the harmonic sensibility of Brian Wilson with the breadth of a Bernard Hermann soundtrack and… read more »

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user avatar

shoot the e-messenger?

Dvoodoo

I love how righteously cheap the last reviewer is, completely ignoring the art, focused instead on the perceived price. I don't think eMusic has done anyone harm, they merely offer the work as presented (which is far less than a new CD in a store or per song Amazon/iTunes rate). Why not determine the label or artist's role, and realize that the album is short TV movie soundtrack pieces by it's nature? Get out much?

user avatar

would love to try it

chantboy

but I'm not going to waste 21 downloads on 40:35 minutes of music - get with it, eMusic - figure out some kind of bundling concept - luckily I like orchestral music, where I can often get an hour and a half of music in 4 or 5 tracks

eMusic Features

0

Icon: Talking Heads

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Arguably America's greatest new wave band, Talking Heads turned fine-art working methods and ideals - subversiveness, detachment, ambiguity, perpetual self-transformation - into magnificent pop songs about the relationship between mind, body and mystery. David Byrne was the least likely of great frontmen, a buttoned-down nerd with a voice like a frightened goose, but it turned out to be the perfect vehicle to upend the traditions of rock singing. Bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz… more »

0

Icon: Talking Heads

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

Arguably America's greatest new wave band, Talking Heads turned fine-art working methods and ideals - subversiveness, detachment, ambiguity, perpetual self-transformation - into magnificent pop songs about the relationship between mind, body and mystery. David Byrne was the least likely of great frontmen, a buttoned-down nerd with a voice like a frightened goose, but it turned out to be the perfect vehicle to upend the traditions of rock singing. Bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz… more »

0

Byrne and Eno: Bullish On Sound

By Robert Phoenix, Contributor

Many years ago, I used to pen a monthly column for eMusic called Sounds Of The Stars, in which I attempted to bridge the gap between astrology and music. I did my best to approximate the sounds of various signs, and to suggest artists that might represent a certain aspect of a sign - even if the artist might not actually be the sign in question. We did a 365-day spin around the sun on… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Simply put, Big Love: Hymnal is exactly what its title and subtitle — Music Written for the HBO Series Plus Other Compositions — claim it to be: serial music to accompany the various episodes from the second season of the cable show that stars Bill Paxton. Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh wrote the first season — and let’s just say that in his own contribution, David Byrne is really aware of that fact. Byrne claims he wanted to write a series of “fake” Mormon hymns to accompany the many themes that characters encounter and express, from devotion to jealousy, anger, and betrayal. He initially wrote a number of these grand gestures without seeing a frame of the season’s pictures, but they ended up not being used — even though he would have allowed the series’ producers to slice and dice them any way they wished. Byrne claims that’s just as well, and punters can decide for themselves since he’s included a number of them here as bonus tracks (though you’ll have to figure out what’s what for yourself because the super budget HBO CD package doesn’t designate them). Byrne fans will no doubt recognize many of the same tropes he’s employed since True Stories. These are mostly clever, short cues, with skeletal organic percussion and electronic drum loops, piano, analog synth, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, a string quartet, and, on some tracks, flügelhorn and French and baritone horns — those tracks more than likely are the fake hymns. As a total listening experience, this set feels a bit precious. One is painfully aware throughout that this is music to be accompanied by images, and its saturated more or less with rather churchy and often rural themes. It’s pleasant for a while, but lightweight, and yet feels like every one of its 41 minutes. Back to Mothersbaugh: Byrne does nod to his peer on some of the quirkier offerings like “A Hill in Ontario County,” with its vibes and counterpoint piano lines that have been evocative on Mothersbaugh’s own work in film and television as well as on Muzik for Insomniaks. Elsewhere, the contrast of sounds, such as those on the synth and drum machine pastiche that forms the core of “Deep Water,” is underscored by electric guitars and a rather polka-like bassline to offer a kind of winking grin that this is supposed to be humorous. The subtly shifting timbres in “Murmur Not” are among the most beautiful on the set, where nocturnal keyboards and glockenspiel are wedded to deep unidentifiable bass effects, strings, and a gorgeous cascading woodwind sound. The bottom line? You either have to be a Byrne enthusiast (or perhaps a bit of a fanatic) to find this set of compositions engaging in its own right, or addicted to very specifically themed cinematically inspired music, to truly appreciate what’s on offer here. One does have to wonder, however: if it weren’t Byrne who scored this set, but someone of lesser renown, would this disc have been released at all? – Thom Jurek

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