Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) has done a great job so far at making each album of hers individually conceptual and unique, yet managing to always stay true to that certain St. Vincent flavour.
Her eccentric guitar work alone is enough to let you know that its her work. From Annie’s debut full length project “Marry Me” to her last self titled album “St. Vincent”, her music delivers some incredibly interesting compositions. On the self titled album, she decided to play a robotic grey-haired goddess that had a knack for talking contrasts of organic and synthesizing, notable in songs like “Digital Witness” and “Rattlesnake”. This was a complete departure from Annie’s previous, as she really honed in on this character that she had developed for herself. I had the pleasure of seeing her live during the time she was touring the self titled album, and I was blown away by just how theatrical she had made her live set with this new material. Its been 2 years since that release, and it seems Annie has gotten back to her brunette, more humble persona.
The “2017” Annie Clark decided to touch on topics surrounding Sex, Drugs, and Sorrow in the appropriately titled: “MASSEDUCTION”, which was immediately apparent in the singles released before the album’s release: “Los Ageless”, “Pills”, and “New York”. This album has the colour red all over it, in sense of passion, desire, lust, and deep sensual emotions. Masseduction starts off with the beautiful “Hang On Me“, in which Annie sings about how she could never aspire to be living in an “American Dream”, as she stated in an interview with Pitchfork:
“All human beings create their own mythologies, and I’m in the somewhat bizarre circumstance of creating a big mythology that gets shared with a lot of people. In some ways, doing the work that I do is about reinventing a value system. More or less, there’s a ubiquitous value system in America, these markers that signify your rite of passage into adulthood or into validity: getting married and having kids and having mortgages. But I always felt a little bit like an alien cocking my head to the side at various cultural milestones, going, “I would never aspire to that.”
On “Pills“, model Cara Delevingne sings on the chorus: “Pills to wake, pills to sleep Pills, pills, pills every day of the week”. The song is about abusing prescribed drugs, and the effect they have on a humans state of mind when taking the drugs. A good single, but for me it wasn’t anything mind blowing, especially with the discography St. Vincent has backing her, and that goes with most of the songs on this album. The title track “MASSEDUCTION” is more experimental than usual for Annie, with its heavily electronic composition mixed with Annie’s usual crunchy, wildly in your face guitar leads. The chorus perfectly describes the theme of the album: “I can’t turn off what turns me on”, no matter how focused she may be on her work, the constantly pulling of attraction and seduction consume Annie at times and control her thoughts and actions.
The highlights on this album for me would have to be the other two singles “Los Ageless” and “New York” which actually work perfectly when contrasted, in Los Ageless, Annie talks about the fake ness of the world, celebrities and people who can afford botox and other cosmetic surgeries are essentially changing the fabric of what made them who they were originally. Its a much more abrasive song than its parallel “New York” which is much more romantic and beautiful song about the city that Annie loves the most. This song is about everyone she loves, and the place she loves the most, and her emotions towards the place is what makes the song such a success.
Most of the rest of this album follow similar concepts to its singles, which works well in concept’s sake, but honestly this was a bit hard to get through because of how same-y it felt throughout the duration of the project. I love St. Vincent, she has some brilliant albums and has carved her way into mainstream success, but I feel with just a bit more effort she could’ve made this album a bit more lively and exciting, still not a bad project! What did you guys think of Annie’s latest endeavour, favourite tracks? least favourite? Let me know on the comments below!
Los Ageless, New York, Hang On Me
Least Favourite Tracks:
Masseduction, Sugarboy, Pills