Annie Clark is next level in terms of visionary and technical ability. Back before the release of Strange Mercy, Clark had discussed that she wanted to do more riffs and Strange Mercy is arguably her best effort to date mostly due in part to said riffing. So, it would make sense that the new self titled would develop the concept further. Clark’s work on guitar is extraordinarily creative and unique to her, so as she grows as an artist she is choosing to showcase her talent instead of focusing on writing straight forward pop tunes like “Actor Out of Work.” Although every release from St. Vincent has darker tracks her last two albums, including the most recent self titled release, seem to stem from the sawtooth, jagged, grime distorted sound heard in past tracks like “Marrow.” Where Annie previously would comprise an album of heartfelt and cerebral pop songs with edgy, effectual b-sides, she has now found a way to harness the more conceptual works into formidable pop songs allowing her to dive even deeper on secondary tracks like “Bring Me Your Loves,” “Rattlesnake,” and “Huey Newton.” St. Vincent is not without Annie’s signature nod to pop as tracks like “Birth in Reverse” and the Bowie/Byrne-esque “Digital Witness” illustrate. The new album has all of the aspects we come to expect from St. Vincent, it’s just with a little reorganizing of ideas, she has definitely created her second best work if not her best work, time will tell. St. Vincent is due for release on February 25th, 2014 via Loma Vista/Republic Records.
-RL, Can I May I