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Album Review: David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant

22 January 2013 | 12:44 pm | Dylan Stewart

Anyone who saw the two artists perform recently when they were in town would testify to their chemistry, but if you missed it, put Love This Giant on your record player.

When trepidation leads to great reward, looking back the hesitation one felt at the outset seems foolish, even embarrassing. Yes, hindsight is 20-20, but the rewards discovered in Love This Giant transcend any backward glances that the album is sure to conceive. In other words, it might take a couple of listens, but this album is fucking great.

Despite its grand scale, when Who, the lead single and this record's opening track, was released a few months ago, it didn't seem to light the world on fire. Full of brass instrumentation, it ducks and weaves across the airwaves, its two brilliant protagonists seemingly sure of themselves but the song lacking any context. Well, within the parameters of Love This Giant, context has been found.

When it comes to musical partnerships, David Byrne and St Vincent (real name: Annie Clark) aren't the two most likely to spend two years together in New Jersey recording an album. But it works. Byrne's musical breadth and pedigree is legendary, and in this collaboration with the phenomenal – yet somewhat untested – Clark, the two thrust and parry across 12 songs and a huge brass section, and into the ears of the unsuspecting listener. Although Byrne is the more senior of the two, the creation of Love This Giant was through total collaboration. All bar two songs were created together, with the pair clearly respecting each other's direction and compositions.

Anyone who saw the two artists perform recently when they were in town would testify to their chemistry, but if you missed it, put Love This Giant on your record player. You'll just have to listen to it a few times to really get it.

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