The arrangements are exquisite from top to bottom, and producer Congleton – who worked with Clark on ‘Strange Mercy’ – helps make it easy for us all to love this giant of a record.
The two musicians’ styles fit neatly over each other, sounding mutually rhythmic, arty, and full of hermetic insight.
Love This Giant poses a challenge to our music sensibilities, and listening to it feels like a learning experience rather than entertainment.
Distinctive enough to be a new entity, smart enough to fall back on a few familiar charms.
In turn, it’s less a collaboration and more a tutoring session on how new tricks can sharpen old perfection.
These are, quite simply, great songs. They are fun, they are emotional, and no two sound alike.
Although you wouldn’t expect anything less from artists of this high a caliber, it still comes as a pleasant surprise how cohesive, complete, and thought through Love This Giant is for a one-off all-star collab.
It is, in other words, a deeply weird and deeply lovely record, albeit one that listeners should do their best to listen to with as few preconceptions as possible.
For all of the missteps, it’s the moments of dizzying brass playing from the backing musicians, the otherworldly pomp of Byrne and the stellar chops of Clark that saves the day.
The obtuse intellectualism of the lyrics and big band backing don’t cut it for a record that should have been less illusory and way more adventurous.
The mixture here leans heavily on Byrne, which is certainly not a bad thing, but Love This Giant doesn't take full advantage of Clark's guitar prowess or hypnotic voice.
It seems Giant will function less as a career highpoint for either artist, and more as a historical marker of the career trajectories of each participant.
Jude Clarke calls it “a perfect cerebral pop pairing” that “improves and deepens on each listen” due to the songwriting and the singers’ voices. Andy Gill consider the brass instrumentation the greatest strength of the album with the latter declaring the work “a skewed and funky instant classic.” Robert Leedham praised the “jaunty trombones” and “jubilant trumpet-lead fanfare” as well. The best collaboration album I’ve ever experienced. So let’s forget “Lulu” from Lou Reed & Metallica, shall we?
solid pop album with moments of class, lots of horns makes it sound a bit old skool, some very catchy tunes
|# 9 -||AllMusic|
|# 8 -||BBC|
|# 28 -||Exclaim!|
|# 13 -||musicOMH|
|# 12 -||NME|
|# 38 -||No Ripcord|
|# 30 -||Paste|
|# 38 -||PopMatters|
|# 28 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 34 -||The Fly|
|# 22 -||The Line of Best Fit|
|# 57 -||Uncut|