Here Lies Love David Byrne & Fatboy Slim (CD)
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne became intrigued by the life of former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, and the woman who looked after her, Estrella Cumpas.
He enlisted DJ Fatboy Slim to put together Here Lies Love, a two-disc album based on Imelda's love of clubs and discos. Byrne brought on board a range of vocalists, including Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper, Roisin Murphy and Santigold. The artists come from vastly diverse musical backgrounds, but, melded with dance beats and disco grooves, they capture Marcos' and Cumpas' emotions.
The tracks are often awkward throwbacks to the 80s but, surprisingly, work for the most part. The songs follow the ebb and flow of the pair's lives, and at times it's unclear to whom a song refers. But fascinating arrangements make up for the confusion.
Highlights include Lauper on Eleven Days, about the ups and downs of the Marcos' courtship; Sharon Jones singing Dancing Together in her clear, jazzy voice; and Martha Wainwright crooning the beautiful Rose of Tacloban.
Here Lies Love is the epitome of a concept album, but has something to offer everyone, even if you know little of the Marcos legend.