Imelda Marcos’s life in funky rhythm
The Boston Globe
By Sarah Rodman
5 April 2010
Finally, the perfect gift has arrived for that hard-to-buy-for friend who loves club-hopping, concept albums, and slightly mad, power-hungry, shoe hoarders. And who better to tell the tale of controversial Filipino political figure Imelda Marcos in notes and beats than the former Talking Head and the funky DJ?
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim call on a star-studded, mostly female cast of dozens to track Marcos’s life from pageant queen to “iron butterfly.’’ Five years in the making, “Here Lies Love’’ is a sumptuous two-disc feast of harmony, melody, and Latin-accented grooves that the Studio 54-loving Marcos herself would likely appreciate.
You don’t have to know the story to revel in the beauty of the percolating bass lines and ticking high hats of “Ladies in Blue’’ or Florence and the Machine’s Florence Welch’s gorgeous swooping vocals on “Here Lies Love.’’ The entire array of singers — including Cyndi Lauper, Sharon Jones, Tori Amos, and Nellie McKay — is more than up to the task of voicing Marcos and her childhood friend and nanny Estrella at different points in their complicated lives.
Special mention should definitely go to Natalie Merchant, who’s perfectly cast to sing the album’s most politically pointed number (“Order 1081’’), and Martha Wainwright, who imbues real wistfulness into “The Rose of Tacloban.’’