Pop music should, ideally, encompass more than just lust, partying, and its derivatives. Former Talking Head and artist-about-globe David Byrne became enthralled with the story of Imelda Romuáldez Marcos and her childhood amaneuensis, Estrella, enlisting Norman Cook to provide beats which nod to Marcos's penchant for discos. Guest vocalists – Florence Welch, Steve Earle and Cyndi Lauper are amongst the more successful – dramatise how Marcos joined the international jetset trash, complete with sacrifice, amphetamines, multiple betrayals and industrial-grade hubris. It's a cracking history lesson, but Here Lies Love is a frustrating concept album, full of placeless music, lyrical platitudes and a surfeit of singers.
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim: Here Lies Love | CD review
Kitty Empire is the Observer's pop critic. She has written for NME and occasionally crops up on Radio 4, 5Live, BBC 6Music, and has appeared on BBC2's The Culture Show and Newsnight Review. @kittyempire666