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David Byrne & St. Vincent’s New Collaboration is Dull

David Byrne can’t stop making stuff and sometimes not all stuff he makes is created equal.

Take for instance his new stinkfest song “Who” with singer St. Vincent.

It is available for free download as a peek into the duo’s new album together “Love This Giant”.

I have to admit, I’m pretty disappointed with the song and I don’t anticipate the rest of the album being that amazeballs either.

What I appreciate about David Byrne is sometimes the same thing that makes me cringe. He not only supports young talent by attending their shows and publicly speaking about them, but he often collaborates with hot young talent… and sometimes he shouldn’t.

Sometimes David Byrne should stick with what he does best, which is write and perform inside his merry Davidbyrneland.

What struck me first about this song is how polished and classically-trained St. Vincent’s voice is and how wobbly and not classically-trained David Byrne’s voice is. DB’s voice is an acquired taste which by itself is pure magic, but when paired with others who sing more “normally”, sounds like a mentally-challenged goat trying to have his voice heard.

Add in the fact that “Who” is musically disjointed with St. Vincent and David Byrne sounding like they’re singing two separate songs and you got yourself one of DB’s smelliest creations.

I don’t know, maybe I’m not being very open-minded, but I kind of miss David Byrne being, well, old David Byrne.

It may also be the fact that I tried very hard to like St. Vincent, but something about her rubs me the wrong way. So, I had to check myself and ask, “Ok, Lauren. Do you not like her because she’s amazingly beautiful and talented?” The answer is, “I’m slightly jealous of her extreme beauty and talent, but mostly think she’s comes across as a cold lady based off of her interviews, personal accounts from others and her songs.” St. Vincent could use an image enema.

What do you guys think of the new collaboration by David Byrne and St. Vincent?

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15 Comments

  • Reply Roanna June 18, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I have the same reaction to St. Vincent. I thought it was just me!

    I haven’t heard the track — sort of afraid to hear it — but creating a great duet is an underrated art-form. It’s not easy and not all styles and voices will fit. Sometimes the lack of fit is what you’re after but then it still has to have *something* appealing.

    • Reply hipstercrite June 19, 2012 at 8:23 am

      It’s true- not all duets work. This isn’t a conventional duet either, and I get that. I still don’t like it.

  • Reply Natali June 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Aw man.
    I love St. Vincent so much. Not only is she beautiful and delicate and reminds me of a doe, but she is also an all around bad ass. I was ok with this collaboration at first, but i totally see what you’re saying.
    When I heard about this back in April, this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2hAQNl3fNc) was also released and it’s one of their songs on the new album. I think this is a lot catchier than the song they put on, and I wish they would’ve released this one instead. “Big band” indeed.

    • Reply hipstercrite June 19, 2012 at 8:22 am

      Cool! Thanks for sharing! I’ll check it out!
      And yes, St. Vincent looks like a beautiful doe. Or a doll. Or a French ballerina.

  • Reply Courtney June 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I haven’t listened to the St. Vincent/David Byrne collaboration yet, but I know what you mean when Byrne sings with a more classically trained voice. While I like the version of “Au Fond du Temple Saint” he did with Rufus Wainwright, you can tell Byrne is straining his voice in a way that Wainwright isn’t. The contrast is really noticeable.

    • Reply hipstercrite June 19, 2012 at 8:21 am

      DB is awesome. He will always be my #1 fave dude. He’s my creative god. I’m just not crazy about all his new collaborative stuff. More power to him for doing it, but I don’t dig it.

  • Reply Allison June 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Unrelated to the track, but I’ve seen photos of her before and she looked normal. So what’s up with her face in that photo???

    • Reply hipstercrite June 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Hahaha…it’s something they did for the photo. DB doesn’t have a butt chin in real life either.

      • Reply Allison June 19, 2012 at 11:00 am

        Trying to be all Lady GaGa I see. I was wondering about the chin too. Hahaha.

  • Reply Stevie Ray Von Erich Estrada June 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I wanted to write something snarky. But instead, I’ll resist the internet’s most base inclination, and instead simply say that I love St. Vincent, I think she is insanely talented and that this collaboration sounds like it’s off to a pretty good start. Maybe it’ll grow on you?

    • Reply hipstercrite June 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Awww…thank you. I think she is really talented and very beautiful, there is just something that doesn’t warm me quite yet. I was a huge fan in the beginning. Saw a show of hers at a small venue in LA. Something has changed since. Maybe the rest of the album will be awesome and I’ll totally feel like an ass!

  • Reply B June 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Kudos for not being afraid to criticize something that theoretically should be untouchably cool! 😀

    What rubs me the wrong way is that it seems forced, like they’re collaborating just for collaboration’s sake.

    I try not to be *too* nostalgic, but I kind of miss the days when collaborations were more rare. I feel like, these days, since they’re so easy to do, and since our attention spans have shortened, people collaborate all the time and probably put less consideration into them.

  • Reply neonsignal August 2, 2012 at 4:17 am

    “The better a singer’s voice, the harder it is to believe what they’re saying.”

  • Reply Album Review: David Byrne & St. Vincent Try to Out-Weird One Another on Love This Giant September 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    […] fact, I wrote a small tirade suggesting that David Byrne, my numero uno creative God, should maybe stop trying to be […]

  • Reply Voig Nederlander August 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Hey, you like what you like, no one can fault you for that, and there’s little point debating the merits of Byrne’s choice in duets.

    For my part, I appreciate collaborations so long as the intent was good. While this is no Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe, it also isn’t Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. We could be listening to “The Girl is Mine,” for crying out loud.

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