Review : David Byrne - Love This Giant
AllmusicDavid Byrne and St.Vincent's Annie Clark are both artists with wide-ranging appetites for diverse sounds and collaboration, so perhaps it was inevitable that they would work together. Recorded at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey, Love This Giant also boasts many other luminaries, including producer John Congleton, Antibalas, and the Dap-Kings, but it's Byrne and Clark's unique vision that guides the album. Love This Giant's lead single "Who" sets the tone for the rest of the album, giving equal time to their vocals and world-questioning perspectives and spiking them with jagged guitar and arty brass arrangements....full text
RollingstoneDavid Byrne and St. Vincent will release a collaborative album called Love This Giant on September 11th. The record, which has been in the works for two and a half years while both Byrne and St. Vincent mastermind Annie Clark worked on other projects concurrently, includes 12 new songs. Ten of the cuts were penned as collaborations, and Clark and Byrne wrote one song each on their own. The vocals will be split evenly between the two.
"We just started writing and kept writing and writing," Clark told Rolling Stone of the collaboration in April. "It just evolved to become this much bigger thing." Added the singer, "David Byrne is the coolest person on the planet."
Clark and Byrne will tour North America in the fall, playing material from Love This Giant as well as selections from their respective catalogs. The band on that tour, which kicks off September 15th at the State Theater in Minneapolis, will feature a full brass section....full text
BbcThe prospect of a collaboration between David Byrne and St Vincent’s Annie Clark is an enticing one. Byrne, one of the late 20th century’s most artful musical alchemists – from Talking Heads and on through his solo music, film, art and theatrical works – meets a woman feted as much for the ingenuity of her arrangements as for her swoon of a voice. Potentially, a perfect cerebral pop pairing, but has the end product lived up to expectations?
It would appear, wonderfully, so. Chiefly constructed around brass band instrumentation, the pair manages to avoid the staid conservatism that this might suggest, instead imbuing Weekend in the Dust, Dinner for Two and Lightning with a rhythmic slink that is more indebted to funk and afrobeat than it is to Sousa or a Colliery Band. Ice Age’s jerk-funk rhythms exemplify the stylish, under-your-skin groove that informs the whole album.
Combined with this is the pleasing combination of the two protagonists’ vocals. Although Byrne’s distinctive voice initially dominates, eventually the beauty and flexibility of Clark’s vocals, and their central role, are revealed. Offsetting his discursive, conversational style (“I took a walk down to the park today”), her singing switches between sultry and tuneful (Who) and reflective and floating (the wonderful Ice Age), providing wonderful harmonies that elevate both the song and the spirit ( I Am an Ape).
The album, despite having no obvious overarching theme or plot-line, nevertheless feels like an integrated conceptual piece. Creating alluring word-images, like The Forest Awakes’ perpetual motion, circle-of-life pictures (“A Song is a road / A road is a face”) or I Am an Ape’s mysterious “statue of the man who won the war”, the feeling is generally playful yet profound. A few tunes – Weekend in the Dust, Optimist, touching album closer Outside of Space & Time – would not sound out of place in a Broadway show....full text
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