Song of the Day #3,691: ‘The Dream Police’ – David Byrne

Rei Momo, released in 1989, was David Byrne’s first proper solo album, coming on the heels of Talking Heads’ final album, 1988’s Naked.

Byrne had always explored Afro/Caribbean sounds with Talking Heads (Naked being a great example) but he doubled down on the concept on this album. Every Rei Momo track features a different musical style, which is noted in the track list: cumbia, orisa, salsa, merengue, bomba, rumba, all that good stuff. Today’s SOTD is an example of ‘cha cha cha.’

Rei Momo has been called David Byrne’s Graceland. It is similar to Paul Simon’s masterwork in that it marries these world music styles to his own unique lyrical and vocal approach.

While I put very few albums at the level of Graceland, I do believe this record deserves to be in the same conversation, rather than mostly forgotten. It is a gorgeous listen and one of Byrne’s best albums with or without Talking Heads.

Combing the snakes in his head
Reading a book in his bed
Getting ready for the night to begin
Waiting for daylight to end

In this court of law
This court of common pleas
The crimes that you’ve committed
You claim were only a dream

Ev’ryone has the same dreams
On diff’rent days of the week
We are the watchdogs of your mind
We are the dream police

The judge has closed his eyes
The court begins to dream
Of crimes that you committed
While you were lying asleep

Ev’reyone has the same dreams
On diff’rent days of the week
We are the watchdogs of your mind
We are the dream police

Combing the snakes in his head
Reading a book in his bed
Getting ready for the night to begin
Waiting for daylight to end
Getting ready for the night to begin
Waiting for daylight to end

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,691: ‘The Dream Police’ – David Byrne

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Haven’t played this album for quite a while, but I agree it’s a good one. Not Graceland good, but good.

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