David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant

4AD/Todo Mundo

After hearing about this collaboration for the first time I actually thought it was going to be a terrible album. I have no idea why — I like both musicians and own their respective releases. Why not a collaboration? Well collaborations can either be somewhat hokey or in the case of the Metallica/Lou Reed debacle even awful. Luckily this album was a pleasant surprise.

Starting off with a heavy dose of horns that continue to blare for the duration of the album the duo offers a pleasant sound that will keep you engaged. David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark trade off vocals seamlessly throughout the album and both act as backup for the other layering the vocals until they become a quiet chorus.

“Lazarus” is a stand-out track with a great build-up of honking horns a fat synth wonk and a danceable drum groove. It all comes together pretty quickly into one hell of a foot tapper. Guitars play warbly grooves and the brass blasts triumphantly to end the song. It’s a great time.

It’s difficult to release a pop record these days without thinking you have to dumb it down for your audience. Fortunately Clark and Byrne have crafted an intelligent pop record that is also extremely fun to listen to and pleasantly surprises you with every listen.