Love This Giant

Love This Giant

by David ByrneDavid Byrne


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It's not surprising that David Byrne and St. Vincent's Annie Clark were drawn to work together. While they're hardly sound-alikes, they are both keen but somewhat detached observers of the human condition who make music that's equally cerebral and passionate. However, it is somewhat surprising to learn that they created their collaboration Love This Giant largely online, meeting in the studio together with their team of musicians and producers a handful of times during the album's three-year gestation period, because they're on such a harmonious wavelength throughout it. Though the album's brass-driven sound suggests Byrne's post-Talking Heads work more than St. Vincent's guitar acrobatics (Clark fans may be disappointed that her playing is relegated to the sidelines here, albeit artfully so), it was actually Clark's idea to write these songs for a brass band when the project began as a handful of songs the duo was going to perform in a bookstore. At any rate, trying to dissect the collaboration's inner workings is beside the point when the whole is this dazzlingly creative. While Love This Giant might not be a true concept album, Byrne and Clark explore the themes of individuality, community, love, and death with a thoroughness and cohesiveness that suggests otherwise, and together they push each other into creative spaces they might not have explored on their own. Clark takes a funky turn on "Weekend in the Dust," where her singing mirrors the angular brass stabs behind her as beats whirr and tick like wind-up toys, and delivers some of her most vulnerable vocals on the expansive "Optimist," one of the most unabashed love songs to New York's potential since "Empire State of Mind." However, it's Byrne who sounds most revitalized by all the creativity flowing through Love This Giant, whether on the jaunty album opener "Who," the whimsical character study "I Am an Ape," or the celebratory "The One Who Broke Your Heart," which drafts the Dap-Kings and Antibalas to help him and Clark dance on their troubles. The album peaks with back-to-back highlights from the duo: "The Forest Awakes" lets Clark unleash her formidable fretwork over a relentlessly marching beat and strings and woodwinds, suggesting a particularly audacious St. Vincent track, while "I Should Watch TV" sets classic Byrne observations ("How are you?"/"Not like me") to alternately jarring and jubilant brass. For all the braininess and wildness on display, there's also a sweetness to the album, particularly on "Outside of Space and Time," which sings the praises of physics-defying devotion. Given all the things Byrne and Clark pack into Love This Giant, it's a remarkably catchy and concise set of songs featuring some of the most vibrant work that either one of them has produced.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/11/2012
Label: 4Ad
UPC: 0652637323122
catalogNumber: 73231
Rank: 11924

Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Byrne   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Omnichord
Bob Stewart   Tuba
Alex Foster   Saxophone
Randy Andos   Tuba
Jack Bashkow   Clarinet,Saxophone
Ron Blake   Saxophone
Steve Elson   Clarinet,Saxophone
Paul Frazier   Bass
Earl Gardner   Trumpet
Stan Harrison   Saxophone
Ozzie Melendez   Trombone
Lenny Pickett   Saxophone
Marcus Rojas   Tuba
Tom Timko   Clarinet,Saxophone
Steve Turre   Trombone
William Lang   Trombone
Chris Komer   French Horn
R.J. Kelley   French Horn
Dominic Derasse   Trumpet
Cochemea Gastelum   Saxophone
Mauro Refosco   Percussion
Kenneth Finn   Trombone,Euphonium
Bob Magnuson   Saxophone
Stuart Bogie   Saxophone
Jonathan Powell   Trumpet
Ravi Best   Trumpet
Kelly Pratt   Trumpet
Ian Hendrickson-Smith   Saxophone
Tom Hutchinson   Euphonium
Jordan McLean   Trumpet
Martin Perna   Saxophone
Rachel Drehmann   French Horn
Patrick Milando   French Horn
Ryan Keberle   Trombone
Annie Clark   Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Synthesizer Bass
Gareth Flowers   Trumpet
Kyle Turner   Tuba
Lawrence DiBello   French Horn
Dave Guy   Trumpet
Evan Smith   Clarinet
Mike Seltzer   Trombone
Josh Frank   Trumpet
Mike Gurfield   Trumpet
Jacquelyn Adams   French Horn
Anthony LaMarca   Drums
Aaron Johnson   Trombone
Michael Williams   Trombone
Jeff Caswell   Trombone
Eric Davis   French Horn
Brian Mahany   Trombone

Technical Credits

David Byrne   Composer,Producer,Percussion Programming
Patrick Dillett   Producer,Engineer
Lenny Pickett   Brass Arrangment
Jon Altschuler   Engineer
Richard J. Burbridge   Cover Photo
Tony Finno   Arranger,Brass Arrangment
Steve Powers   Cover Typeset
John Congleton   Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Kelly Pratt   Brass Arrangment
Phil Laslett   Type Design,Back Cover
Noah Wall   Artwork
Annie Clark   Composer,Producer
Walt Whitman   Composer
Yuki Takahashi   Engineer
LeeAnn Rossi   Artwork
Ken Thompson   Arranger
Juan Marin   Artwork
Catalina Kulczar   Artwork

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