By Aaron Davis (for JHWeekly.com)
Love This Giant DAVID BYRNE & ST. VINCENT
In the years since the Talking Heads put out its final album, Naked (1988), David Byrne has contributed to a number of significant collaborations with Brian Eno, Arcade Fire, and Thievery Corporation, authored nine books, and put out nine solo releases (2001’s Look into the Eyeball is phenomenal). Being the creative genius oddball that Byrne is, linking up with St. Vincent – a head-turning composer in a corner of her own – is not surprising, but intriguing. This is not a duet album in the traditional sense, but rather a spliced attack of either artist with a few tracks that momentarily feature them together. The lead vocalist often doubles his or her own (harmony) vocals. And while more of the songs feature Byrne at the mic, I tend to prefer the St. Vincent tunes, especially the hip-hop-horn attack and staccato-voiced “Weekend in the Dust,” and “Optimist.” A dominating element is the aggressive attitude within the thick rhythms – predominantly electronic with a purposeful avoidance of traditional beats laced with nuanced synthesizer and varying horn arrangements. This is art-pop-rock that would stage well with choreographed dancers and theatrics.