Album review: Love This Giant - David Byrne & St Vincent

By Lydia Jenkin

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Album cover for Love This Giant. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for Love This Giant. Photo / Supplied

In the album credits David Byrne thanks the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Rebirth Brass Band and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (among an array of other artists) for their inspiration, and it's worth mentioning this, because that inspiration is an important element of this eccentric but brilliant collaboration.

You can clearly hear the voices of both Byrne and St Vincent - aka Annie Clark - not just in their distinctive beautiful careening vocals, but in the nuance of the arrangements also.

But it's a delightful surprise to find them both mostly eschewing an alt-rock palette, and embracing the sound of a large vivacious brass band fleshed out with various beats and keys, and the occasional guitar.

They've certainly given their brass players a work out with some intricate, rhythmical brass parts (as on opening track Who), easily roaming from an orchestral sound to hip-hop in an instant (I Should Watch TV and Dinner for Two being brilliant examples), but also tapping into the deep grooves of second-line brass players.

But even when they take off in an 80s dance direction with Lazarus, or get into swooning electro chamber pop on Optimist, it sounds somehow seamless.

The pair know how to cross genres easily, even when keeping within the same soundscape, and with their curious storytelling layered over the top, it's a vibrant, American melting pot of sound.

Stars: 5/5
Verdict: Adventurous brass-based melting pot.
Click here to buy a copy of Love This Giant.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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