Most helpful critical review
Album doesn't compare to live performances.
on December 13, 2014
Had I not heard most of these songs live before hearing the album, I probably would've liked it better. I had never heard of St Vincent until about a month ago when she was featured in Guitar World. I checked out several YouTube videos and really liked what I heard and saw - interesting arrangements, great singing, great guitar work and super tight band. Unfortunately, the album sounds much more robotic - especially the drums, and surprisingly, the guitar. The live songs often use slightly different arrangements and guitar tones/effects which really enhance the music. Something is lost in the studio recordings - not as much life, spark, groove... you get the picture. I think the visual of the band and Annie playing live is also a real plus - weird choreography and really solid playing - especially the drummer. Annie is quite a skilled guitarist - she picks and chooses her spots to show her stuff - definitely doesn't "overplay" just for the sake of showing off, which I'm sure she could if she wanted. I am mostly a hard rock/metal fan and was impressed that she lists Dimebag Darrell from Pantera as one of her influences. That being said, this is certainly not a "heavy" album in any way. I tend to prefer the faster, harder songs on this record like "Digital Witness" and "Bring Me Your Loves" - the slower stuff is a bit boring to me. I wish she would record a live album - I'm sure it would be awesome. If someone is on the fence about St Vincent, I would suggest checking out some of her live stuff online - she did a whole concert on Letterman that is great and some of her performances on Late with Jools Holland are quite good too. I will continue to follow her musical output as I feel she is a very talented and interesting artist.