Words About Music
St. Vincent “St. Vincent”
Oh, Annie Clark. Canst thou do no wrong? It seems like she is incapable of doing wrong with the release of her fourth studio album under the St. Vincent moniker. And, well, it’s just as good as, if not better than, basically anything the guitar goddess/strange songwriter has ever crafted. Her music is still as creative and delightfully dark as ever, with insane sounding guitar effects, 80s callback synths, and some of the most energetic singing we’ve ever heard from Annie. She basically improves by sounding more erratic, sexy, and mysterious in the process.
If you ask me, “St. Vincent” is probably Annie’s best album yet. There’s not a single bad song on here. I mean sure there’s some songs I prefer to others, but for the most part Annie Clark has given her music an edge that she’s been working on perfecting throughout her career. Whether it’s a ballad like “Psychopath” or “Severed Cross Fingers” or a twisted surge of energy like “Bring Me Your Loves” or “Huey Newton,” Annie displays versatility with experimental sounds and pop-friendly hooks.
And that voice. Dear goodness that voice. It’d be one thing if St. Vincent was just fascinating lyricism and masterful musicianship, but a significant part of the music is Annie Clark’s instantly recognizable voice. It has a haziness to it. Some je ne sais quoi that attracts me and, I imagine, several listeners to the music itself. Multi-octave range and an ability to sing songs that are serious and songs that are sort of fun. There’s a huge difference between songs like “Cheerleader” and “Chloe in the Afternoon,” both on her last album “Strange Mercy,” but they still sound delightfully St. Vincent-esque.
This album is so instantly likable for me that I have trouble even listing the reasons I do like it that wouldn’t apply to any other St. Vincent album. I like the way she uses retro synths on here. Her guitar-playing doesn’t even need to be discussed because it’s a given, but that’s still a personal highlight of the contents of this album. But mostly, I have to say that “St. Vincent” has probably the highest replay value of any album Annie has ever released. It’s incredibly catchy and fun while still being a bit subversive. I mean, how could you ignore lines like “Oh what an ordinary day/Take out the garbage, masturbate” or “I prefer your love to Jesus”? I just want to dance when I listen to this album. It’s her most personal, angsty, visceral album yet but it’s also probably the easiest one to listen to of her four albums. So if you’re not sold on St. Vincent just yet for some reason, give her new album a listen, because it’s really really really good.
SCORE – 9.2
FAVORITE TRACKS – Rattlesnake, Birth in Reverse, Prince Johnny, Huey Newton, Digital Witness, I Prefer Your Love, Regret, Bring Me Your Loves, Severed Crossed Fingers