By Genichi Kawakami
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They can opt for golden-oldies status, recycling their hit or hits endlessly, hoping to latch onto those lucrative cruiseship gigs or to headline the package or revival tours that regularly visit big halls like New York's Radio City or Madison Square Garden. Or they can try for some redefinition, a refocusing of their sound and image that reworks the essential threads of their past into a newer, but congruent, form for their present. But since pop stardom is a demanding and limiting franchise—your fans want to hear what they already know, maybe with a slight twist—the second choice is loaded with potential missteps from the commercial, never mind creative, side.
In Byrne's elusive hands, the delicate confessional mode falls flat. Life can be tough for a rock star whose moment has passed—as happens to nearly all rockers. Most, for instance, never last beyond a couple of discs at best, never mind getting a shot at something as tricky as navigating middle age. And if they get that far, their options are stark and appalling. They can opt for golden-oldies status, recycling their hit or hits endlessly, hoping to latch onto those lucrative cruiseship gigs or to headline the package or revival tours that regularly visit big halls like New York's Radio City or Madison Square Garden.
Guitar riffs stuff each tune, gyring around each other in a series of dissolves and overlaps. But the underlying beats would seem flatfooted to a jazzer—slam, slam, slam, slam. There's no real bounce. h. What's fascinating about Television, made more than a decade after 46 Stir It Up the group first dissolved, is how it picks up pretty much where they left off. It's almost as if the suspension of time that lurks between rock beats the way they play them magically reflects how history itself eddies around the band.