David Byrne’s American Utopia album, released earlier this year on Todomundo / Nonesuch Records, has been nominated for Best Alternative Album at the 61st Grammy Awards. American Utopia earned David his highest charting album ever, entering at No. 1 on the Top Current Album Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and topping both Rock and Alternative Album Charts, as well as achieving career-best spots internationally. American Utopia features Byrne’s Top 10 single, “Everybody’s Coming To My House,” which he and his band performed on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Byrne’s last nomination was for Love This Giant, his collaboration with St. Vincent. In 1988, he won a Grammy Award for The Last Emperor soundtrack, for which he was also honored with an Academy Award.
American Utopia questions the current state of society while offering solace through song. NPR said of the record, “If a brain in a jar could observe the world, make sense of it and churn it into a batch of songs, it would make the album American Utopia.” An extensive world tour, with what Byrne called “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense,” was launched simultaneously. The sold-out, highly praised concerts featuring the singer/guitarist and an eleven-piece, untethered band, choreographed by Annie-B Parson, were named MOJO’s Event of the Year and nominated for Q Awards Best Live Act.
Additionally, last month, in conjunction with The Criterion Collection’s special-edition DVD and Blu-ray release of David Byrne’s 1986 film True Stories, Nonesuch and Todomundo Records released a comprehensive soundtrack, collected for the first time in one package and in film sequence: True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack .
American Utopia (Deluxe Edition)
1. I Dance Like This
2. Gasoline And Dirty Sheets
3. Every Day Is A Miracle
4. Dog’s Mind
5. This Is That
6. It’s Not Dark Up Here
7. Bullet
8. Doing The Right Thing
9. Everybody’s Coming To My House
10. Here
Praise for American Utopia
“He’s a profile in American reinvention — it’s here a kind of alien found a band, an audience and a home.” —New York Times
“If a brain in a jar could observe the world, make sense of it and churn it into a batch of songs, it would make the album American Utopia.” —NPR
“American Utopia is an album full of pulsating beats and rich textures. You could also say that about any Talking Heads record, but the new album isn’t a throwback; it feels like it could only exist right now.” —Stereogum
“Byrne has put together an album that not only sounds fresh, but concerns itself with the world as it exists in this moment, right now.” —UPROXX
“The minute you put American Utopia on, it grabs you. It grabs you by the hips, with blasts of electro-funk. It grabs you by the brains, with quirky lyrics. And it grabs you by the heartstrings, with gospel-tinged melodies. This is an album for anyone who fears that we are running out of tunes. The whole thing has a vitality that will appeal to anyone, young or old.” —Mail On Sunday
“American Utopia has come from the desire to provide little stabs at happiness when they seem hard to find. There are plenty of delightful and eccentric moments. The lasting impression is not one of a blithe spirit at play, but a deeply anxious, conscientious human struggling to find redeeming features in a world that seems devoid of them. It’s a noble initiative for which Byrne should be commended.” —Esquire
“His best record in years. His creative fires still show no sign of dimming, Byrne remains as playful and brilliant as ever.” —Q
Praise for the American Utopia Tour
“One of the most mind-blowingly meticulous and awe-inspiring productions you could ever hope to see. It might have taken more than 30 years, but Byrne has somehow made Stop Making Sense look ordinary. Perfection.” —Independent
“Redefines what a concert can be … a seamless combination of interpretive dance, dramatic lighting, unbridled energy and infectious songs … an uplifting and unforgettable treat … unlike anything I’ve seen.” —StarTribune
“Arguably the most acclaimed live shows of the year, the blend of brilliantly simplistic staging and lighting, hugely impressive choreography and Byrne’s fantastic backing band makes for a genuinely boundary-breaking experience. The setlist is fantastic and the whole gig is quite unlike anything else that’s been attempted in the area of live rock music.” —Guardian
“Remarkable … [an] amazing spectacle” —NPR
“Byrne remains an absolute master of the theater of live music, and his latest is no exception: American Utopia is a joy to behold.” —Los Angeles Times
“Byrne’s astonishing American Utopia stage show completely reinvents the pop concert. It has been described as “the best live show of all time”, but that might undersell it. This unprecedented mindmeld of modern dance, avant-garde theatre, art installation, soul revue and carnival parade makes the conventional rock show seem as old-fashioned as music hall. When Byrne compared this tour to Stop Making Sense, he ran the risk of setting expectations unreasonably high. The crazy thing is that he’s exceeded them. Most artists don’t get to reinvent the pop concert once in a lifetime. Byrne has done it twice.” —Q
“A strikingly minimalist concert experience unlike anything else” —Billboard
“A marvel of staging and motion … The evening proved a celebration of Byrne’s music at its most rhythmic and transcendent.” —Chicago Tribune
“Every now and again, you’re at a show that you realise, then and there, will be spoken of as one of the greatest its attendees ever saw. That it will still be vivid in their mind in five years, 10, and included in whatever list mechanic will rate landmark rock gigs in the discursive popular culture outlets of the future. About six songs into David Byrne’s American Utopia presentation, choreographed with imaginative but uninvasive brilliance by Annie-B Parson, you realise that this is one of those shows.” —Mojo, Event of the Year!
“It’s honestly hard to believe the amazingness of David Byrne’s live show … Byrne radiates a joy while performing that few—if any—musicians can match.” —Seattle Weekly
“Byrne and his 11-piece band put on an unforgettably unique, imaginative, and kaleidoscopically entrancing spectacle of music, dance, and theatre. Even for an icon like Byrne, this was something special.” —Daily Telegraph
“Nobody thinks about performance quite like David Byrne. Shunning the orthodox live-concert format, his latest touring spectacle has confirmed his status as a true original.” —Monocle
“At a time when both political revolution and great music that brings people together for a higher spiritual revolution are both needed more than ever, David Byrne is delivering the goods like few others can or will.” —PopMatters
“From start to finish, it is joyous, life-affirming, pulsating, moving, thrilling, exhilarating.” —Financial Times
“[A] joyful reinvention of the rock concert” —Atlantic
“Daringly ambitious and full of joy. So different, so memorable, so much fun.” —Evening Standard
“This 66-year-old pop polymath keeps pushing himself to strange, dazzling new peaks. Indeed, his latest live show could well be the most imaginative, hilarious, ambitious and exuberant of his career. Part carnival, part Broadway musical, part high-impact aerobics class, the art-rock veteran’s show is a new career peak.” —Times
“An immaculately drilled and dressed ensemble – and joyous music  This unprecedented, exquisite live show finds a 12-strong band in near-constant motion. Pop is no stranger to troupe dancing, but working musicians don’t normally move this perfectly. The set, by contrast, is all grey and minimal and yet somehow just as kaleidoscopic. A huge swath of songs have all been subtly rescored to fit a show heavy on funk, fun, drama, shadowplay and a sprinkling of overt politics.” —Observer
“When Byrne brought his American Utopia show to Britain in June, it was the best gig I’d seen in 15 years. So good, in fact, that I hesitated to see it again. Could something so sensational ever be repeated? Would an evening packed with surprises be as much fun if you knew what to expect? And would its quirky magic survive the leap from theatres to arenas?  Yes, yes, yes. There are still surprises to be sprung, because even the most memorable evening only stays with you as a set of snapshots, and a show this bold can take your breath away all over again.” —Mail on Sunday
“Five-star wonder. Undeniably, Byrne lived up to his own hype.” —Metro
“Since the last time he brought this euphoric American Utopia show to Glasgow, Byrne and his troupe of grooving players have been spreading joy and awe around the world with this immaculate treat and it was only right that many more fans got the opportunity to bathe in its celebratory glow and theatrical wit.” —Scotsman
“Byrne is hitting another creative high with American Utopia, and hitting a performance peak with his world tour. He doesn’t disappoint, rethinking the whole structure of a rock show and recasting it as a life-affirming celebration of sound and movement. The show is about inclusivity, welcoming the world and embracing its wonders. If anyone can set you free from the hateful, dishonest and small-minded narrative that currently holds sway in America, Byrne is one man who definitely can.” —Irish Times
“An absolute joy. There’s a point in Byrne’s current live show when you realise that you simply haven’t stopped grinning for about an hour, and you have absolutely no intention of stopping. Byrne comes close to achieving his utopia.” —Clash
David Byrne

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