By Mark Edwards
Big Love: Hymnal contains David Byrne’s soundtrack to the HBO series Big Love, a drama based on a polygamous Mormon family. Byrne has described the music as “fake Mormon hymns”, which would normally be enough to put you off, but we have learnt over the years that, while Byrne invariably seems to be fake, superficial, ironic and all those other postmodern adjectives, none of this apparent detachment prevents his work from getting right to the heart of the matter. (In addition, there aren’t really any hymns here.) Byrne allows himself to wander across a wide musical palette as he evokes the sense of an America that is familiar yet slightly sinister. The result is musically cohesive even if you know nothing about the series, and makes the perfect companion piece to the work of Sufjan Stevens.