St. Vincent

MASSEDUCTION

Loma Vista

Oct 12, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

If you've followed Annie Clark's musical project St. Vincent at all, you know that her albums can be somewhat of a rollercoaster ride with peaks and valleys not only in time signatures and tempos but in genres and styles. Her fifth album (sixth if you count Love This Giant, 2012's collaboration with David Byrne) MASSEDUCTION (capitalized for emphasis I suppose) has eliminated most of the valleys resulting in primarily peaks of super-charged electronic rock.

Crafted with a creativity matching that of Björk (before she went all loopy) and with a similar willingness to experiment, the 13 tracks on MASSEDUCTION are a logical progression from the razor sharp artificial pop found on 2014's self-titled release.

Experimental electronics, bristling beats, and booming bass are dynamically packaged into animated arrangements that feature Clark's wild guitar bursts and of course her distinctively slinky voice. And although one person's chaotic noise is another person's electro-pop, St. Vincent never forgets to make things listenable and infuses her songs with an indie rock sensibility that makes them even more appealing.

This technique works best on standout tracks such as "Pills," "Sugarboy," "Los Ageless," and "Fear the Future" where short simple melodies are intricately layered into complex but catchy rhythms and feature a clever mingling of fluid electronic textures, surging guitar riffs, and hypnotic beats.

But it's not all quick-paced electro sounding. The listener is given an occasional break in the form of a few slower tracks that are more stripped down and melancholic while containing some simple piano bars, slide guitar, and choruses with plush orchestrations, and of course Clark's distinctively slinky voice (included again for emphasis).

If this is not the best St. Vincent album it is certainly the most consistent from start to finish. Both musically and lyrically it is emotionally powerful and its diverse nature allows for hearing something new each time it's played. Clark's multi-layered vocals are as sharp as ever and act as a common thread linking the tracks into a cohesive album that is sophisticated and sensual. This is never more apparent than on the ultimate peak that is "Young Lover."

MASSEDUCTION has set the bar high for the rest of the indie rock universe and proves that St. Vincent is a truly unique talent that is both innovative and entertaining. (www.ilovestvincent.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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