Review Summary: Two of the quirkiest musicians come together to create a quirky and memorable record.
Collaboration albums, if nothing else, have quite the vast array of possibilities. Sometimes you get some very interesting dynamics that pay off, like Kanye Wests' collaboration with acclaimed folk artist Bon Iver. Other times, you can get an absolutely horrendous result, an absolute abomination of music that seldom anybody enjoys (I'm looking at you Metallica and Lou Reed.) So, suffice it to say, when David Byrne and St. Vincent announced their collaboration effort Love this Giant
, I was more than curious as to how it would turn out.
It's certainly an intriguing combination; the legendary frontman of post punk group Talking Heads paired with the still relatively young (especially in comparison to David Byrne) but still incredibly talented Annie Clark, both having some rather quirky mannerisms about them. It's evident from the start of opening track "Who" that the duo found a good balance. Complete with a boisterous brass section (which is present throughout the entire album) the two trade vocal duties back and forth in seamless transition, playing off of each other's oddities, rather than combating them. The tracks where they do this are honestly the best and most memorable on the album.
Of course that's not to say that all the other tracks are bad. Really, there isn't a bad
song on Love this Giant
. Each song has something unique to set it apart from the others. Whether it's one of the rare moments where both Annie and David are simultaneously singing in "I Am an Ape" and "The One Who Broke Your Heart" or Byrne's most captivating vocal performance on "I Should Watch TV", there is nary a dull moment on the entirety of the album.
The surprising part is that the majority of the tracks on Love this Giant
are written by both
David and Annie. It isn't just an album where they each write their own songs and the other just makes an appearance. The two actually worked together to write these songs (the exceptions to this being "Ice Age" which was written entirely by Annie Clark, and "Outside of Space and Time" written entirely by David Byrne.)
David Byrne and St. Vincent have proven that entire collaboration albums can still work when done right. While others fall flat on their face (ahem, Lulu) Love this Giant
is an engrossing, catchy, and incredibly memorable album from two of the quirkiest musicians in the business.