Hipsters – rejoice! Your iconic Godfather has teamed up your demented poster-girl. But this is much more than a scenester’s wet dream – this is pretty damn good.
True pop genius David Byrne and angelic she-devil Annie Clarke of St Vincent fame form a pretty heavenly and symbiotic match.
The idiosyncrasies of these two renowned eccentrics blend effortlessly. Byrne’s legendarily playful sense of imagination and wistful melody flirts glibly with Clarke’s jagged fire-cracker bravado.
With more than a smack of Byrne’s Talking Heads’ past to its sound, Love This Giant is a delightful and only mildy deranged affair. The album is built around a brass section, which adds a rich texture to the delicate layers that float around it. But horns aside, it’s still a surprisingly consistent and coherent record .
Album opener ‘Who’ showcases the partnership best: Byrne’s arresting unhinged troubadour persona squares up to Clarke’s woozy vocal naughtiness and fierce spiked-guitar in an awesomely infectious showdown.
Other album highlights include ‘I Am An Ape’ which starts as a haunting lament before kicking into a ‘Remain In Light’-esque groove, and ‘The One Who Broke Your Heart’ which is fuelled by a decadent samba swing and hip-hop beat.
Subtle electronic beats charge the whole record with a steady, danceable pulse, but this often falls flat and cold where a real drummer may have brought a little more life and warmth.
Eclectic and bold as it may be, Love This Giant is far from the bravest thing that either party has attempted. Still, it’s just the right side of crazy, and it’s never hip to be sane.