The first listen I had to both this artist and this album, which are conveniently of the same name, was on what many of those who are close to me would describe as my favorite radio-station, NPR. But that story is for a different time and a different place. This story is about Annie Clark as St. Vincent and her wonderful evolution (so I have been told) in her newest work, St. Vincent.
St. Vincent last appeared on a collaboration with David Byrne, from Talking Heads; that album, Love This Giant, was heavily cloaked in brassy instrumentation and has obviously influenced Annie Clark’s self-titled fifth album. Being on Tunetalks with several members of the committee which turns out these reviews, I became aware of a great divide. Some people in the world do not appreciate the brass, but I, personally love it.
I would have to say, however, that not every track on this album is dowsed in euphoria and splendor. Taking great risk of meeting a guillotine when I arrive at the committee meeting, I must utter the following phrase: only about half of this album really hit it hard for me. It opens strongly with “Rattlesnake,” “Birth In Reverse,” and “Huey Newton,” both of which have phenomenal back stories which can be found in NPR’s conversation with Annie Clark in their web cast archives. I also am particularly fond of “Digital Witness,” “Every Tear Disappears,” and “Regret,” but not many of the other tracks really make their way into my long-term memory. There is nothing wrong with the remaining 5 songs on this album, other than their lack of ability to hold my attention or catch me silently singing along with them.
There isn’t a moment in this album when Annie’s lyrics turn into pretentious gibberish, which is something I respect greatly. Many people who have listened to this album may disagree with me when they pull “Huey Newton” to the forefront of their minds, and to that I say, “Listen to the NPR feature!” As I mentioned before, this album was my first listen to St. Vincent. I can say that this an easy album to listen to, even without prior dedication to the artist. In the future, this will not be so true, as I think I have fallen into a blissful romance with St. Vincent’s ethereal music.
Reviewed By: Kaitlyn Ouverson