What happens when you throw together two fairly eclectic, yet entirely talented musicians from different generations? An altogether solid, respectable and grandiose album. St. Vincent's Annie Clark might be one of the most supremely gifted artists of the past decade (grossly underappreciated on the whole). And David Byrne is, well, David Byrne. His legacy speaks for itself. Unfortunately, the combination of these two talents makes for a beautiful album, it just also happens to be a little offbeat and boring. Tracks like "Dinner For Two" and "Optimist" are truly gorgeous in terms of musical structure and execution – all of the elements are there – it just happens to fall a little flat on the whole. There's no dynamic refrain or explosive vocal harmonizing present, as you'd expect from these two – the lone exception being the radio-friendly single, "Who". (I also currently happen to feel like that spoiled rotten brat who got a shitload of Christmas presents, but is pouting because he didn't get a pony.) This is a truly unique and aurally striking album. It just feels very segregated – some tracks sound like a St. Vincent album, while others sound like a David Byrne album. There isn't the cohesion that you'd expect. The other issue with this album, as a whole, is that a majority of the tracks take a good two minutes to finally kick into any sort of dynamic instrumental or vocal engagement. Again, maybe I'm just nitpicking because there's no reason this album shouldn't be literally perfect – it's a miracle to have two such gifted musicians pairing up in this day and age. (Lest we forget the awfulness that Metallica and Lou Reed produced together last year.)
Worth a Listen: "Who" and "The One Who Broke Your Heart"