Tom Tom Club

Given the apparent strictures of Talking Heads' musical oeuvre, probably as much a result of personality as preference, several solo projects emerged including this perfectly adequate proto-grrrl band captained by Tina Weymouth and husband Chris Frantz. As proof, if it weren't for the people behind it, it probably wouldn't have stood out. There are some legitimate gems on this, particularly the wacky literate white girl monotone of "Wordy Rappinghood," the inexplicably entertaining "Genius Of Love" (which asks the singer that all-important question, "whatcha gonna do when you get out of jail?") and the boisterously francophile "L'Éléphant." On the other hand, however, both "Lorelei" and "As Above, So Below" are lyrically interesting but musically overstay their welcome, and the interminably stupid "Booming And Zooming"'s attempt at satire with its Kentucky Fried Sexist aviator likely set back military feminism by at least a decade. Overall this initial effort has its moments but is best described as an influential curiosity rather than a solid album in its own right. The first CD reissue adds their (rather good, admittedly) cover of "Under The Boardwalk" which replaced "Booming and Zooming" in overseas pressings, plus extended mixes of "Lorelei," "Wordy Rappinghood" and "Genius of Love." This first makes a overly long song even less tolerable, but the other two are excellent 12" mixes of the two best songs on the album. As a result, that's the version to look for; the most recent reissue has a slightly different version of "On, On, On, On..." and "Elephant," and lapses to shorter singles otherwise. (Content: no concerns.)