Discounting David Byrne's 2003 soundtrack recording LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, GROWN BACKWARDS can be seen as the third installment in a trilogy that began with 1997's FEELINGS and found the former Talking Head moving away from his world-music obsession towards a kind of eclectic, intellectual chamber-pop. This '04 release is probably the least international-sounding of any of Byrne's solo albums, and while it contains elements of electronica, R&B, jazz, and rock, it's also his most unassuming recording in some time. Elegant, artful string arrangements grace much of the material, and Byrne's previous polyrhythmic approach is supplanted by a more cerebral, European sensibility. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the inclusion of two honest-to-God opera tracks, Bizet's "Au Fond du Temple Saint" (with assistance from fellow opera buff Rufus Wainwright) and Verdi's "Un de Felice, Eterea." To his credit, Byrne manages to make these works his own, and along with a markedly more politicized lyrical approach on some of his own compositions, they mark the most significant changes to his artistic template.