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Album review: St. Vincent’s ‘St. Vincent’

The artist continues her conquest over everything cool.

By Patrick McKenna | Feb. 25, 2014

Tags: Music Reviews

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St. Vincent has returned with a bang — a fuzz-fueled, chaotically rocking bang, with a side of luscious love ballads and electro-poppy gems.

You’d think collaborating with the legendary lead singer of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, would leave the rest of St. Vincent’s career dry and flat-lined. Think again.

St. Vincent, aka Oklahoma native Annie Clark, offers insight on love and the modern world of technology, with rich textural sound encompassing upbeat melodies and her beautiful trademark voice, on her self-titled fifth album, St. Vincent. With this musical endeavor, Clark uses her instrumental abilities to connect with her audience, giving a creamy, baroque-pop sound imaginative lyrics and a place to work magic.

As one of the last truly innovative pop artists, St. Vincent established her name back in 2007 with a marvelous debut album, Marry Me. Since then, its been all uphill for her, with a career that includes opening for monumental indie all-stars such as Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear, along with the shockingly sweet 2012 collaboration with Byrne that led to an appearance at last year’s Bonnaroo Music Festival.

On St. Vincent, Clark does an astounding job shifting from dreamy, string-heavy love tunes that demand the listener’s full investment to danceable pop-bombs that infuse fuzzed-out guitar frenzies and booming choruses.

In both “Birth in Reverse” and “Prince Johnny,” St. Vincent slams listeners with tight pop ditties that drip merciless flavor. “Digital Witness” offers a fantastic depiction of how society’s addiction to social media leaves no room for pleasure in the now, all while continuing her dominance over the mellow and melodic genre she calls home.

At this point in her career, St. Vincent could have settled with a commercialized record, possibly shooting her into mainstream music fans’ peripheral and gaining some financial wins. Instead, she gave us a refreshingly deep and danceable album full of twists, turns and tuned perfection.

MOVE gives St. Vincent 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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