David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant Review

'Love This Giant' is, for the most part, even more than you could have expected from a collaboration between artists as accomplished and peculiar as these. Due to the centrality of the brass band its tone never strays too far from the whimsical and jubilant, although it does frequently reintroduce the ethereal elements from St. Vincent's last album 'Strange Mercy', which serve as a great counterpoint.

This combination is particularly effective on 'Who', 'Lazarus' and 'The Forest Awakes', the latter of which was surprisingly written by Byrne. Some of the tracks do fall short of 'instant classic' status, such as 'Dinner for Two', whose sound is too fancy and antiquated to be palatable. It's in these rare cases that Annie Clark's noise-based, jittery guitar playing is missed the most. Its absence from the record is understandable, however; it just wouldn't have gelled with its overarching aesthetic.

For the most part, this album is chock full of quirky rhythms, beautiful melodies and interesting juxtapositions, and strikes a good balance between the visceral danceability of the beats and the duo's cerebral lyricism. It's ambitious, intelligent and catchy. It's art-pop done right. 8/10

Michael Baker