David Byrne & Fatboy Slim
Here Lies Love (Nonesuch)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., April 23, 2010
David Byrne & Fatboy SlimHere Lies Love (Nonesuch)
David Byrne's in a revisionist mood and has taken on quite the whopper. Here Lies Love, his "concept" album with Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), narrates the life of former Filipino first lady/shoe enthusiast Imelda Marcos with breezy strings, disco beats, and vocals from Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper, Kate Pierson, and a cast of others. Not surprisingly, it feels like it should be a Broadway play instead of an unwieldy two-disc album. Marcos' life was all luxury and color, but the songs don't translate. Here Lies Love will play in gay clubs, but for a collaboration between forward-thinkers like Byrne and Cook, it's pretty safe while also having no direction. The catchy beats meant to replicate Marcos' dance-floor whirls at Studio 54 are kitsched up by typically thunderous presences (Sharon Jones, Florence Welch) until it feels more like karaoke than concept.