David Byrne and St. Vincent - Love This Giant

 2012 – Todo Mundo Ltd.


This is an album that I go back to frequently. It is, by far, one of my favorite albums to come out within the last decade. Love This Giant seems to be one of those universal albums that whenever I put it on for someone, they like it. The songwriting and arranging are stellar. One of the main standouts from this album is the horn section. Looking at the credits on the insert, there are no fewer than 45 brass musicians! featuring groups such as the Dap Kings and the Antibalas Orchestra as well as the Tower of Power and SNL saxophonist Lenny Pickett. The magic comes not from featuring so many instrumentalists, but with their use. The horn arrangements feature a seamless mix of marching band, James Brown, and New Orleans second line. Add that to the David Byrne and St. Vincent vocals and you’ve got something really special. St. Vincent’s vocals give an almost creepy, haunting vibe to some of the songs (in a good way), and David Byrne’s bring comfort. Listen to “I Am An Ape” to get both the creep and comfort in one. The drum programming and electronic accents are subtle and add to the whole feel of the record without dominating it. This album just grooves. “The One Who Broke Your Heart” might be one of the funkiest things on record. It takes unexpected twists and turns (as does the whole album) that makes this a joy to listen to again and again. The cover is interesting as well. From what I've read, it seems like they were going for a Beauty and the Beast type scenario, which explains the prosthetic work on both of them. Overall, I highly recommend this album to everyone.