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4.4 out of 5 stars
St. Vincent
Format: Audio CDChange
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2014
Annie Clark hit one out of the ballpark with the self titled St. Vincent.

I have all of St. Vincents albums and they all have their strong points. But her newest CD reminds me of albums from the old days where everything on the album was palatable, or simply amazing. There is no filler here, you get your moneys worth and then some.
I also recommend going to see her live. Her shows are some of the best if not the best sounding of anything I have ever come across. She prefers to play in smaller venues that have good acoustical properties, not giant stadiums that make everyone sound bleh (Rush is the only band I have ever seen in a large stadium that sounded good...err great).

If you like St. Vincent, you are going to adore this album. It's my favorite by far!
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2014
4.5 Stars

Try to write a review of the music of St Vincent aka Annie Clark without using the words strange, quirky, eccentric or experimental. Not an easy task since Clark has been a proud pusher of boundaries since the release of her solo debut album "Marry Me" in 2007. She has also in that time struck up a useful partnership with the "Head" Talking Head David Byrne and if 2012's joint effort "Love this Giant" was quite what it promised then Clarks self titled fourth album sets the record straight.

St Vincent is the complete album that Ms Clark has been promising the over the past seven years. There have been occasions in her previous work that it has been a little to clever with songs that sound that they need more work or a slight injection of melody. It is pleasing to report therefore that she has shown more restraint here yet at the same time produced an album that could only be an St Vincent production. The ingenuity of her arrangements remains but somehow more shape and order is present. The powerhouse funky opener "Rattlesnakes" has a staccato synth line and breathy vocals by Clark and is an ecstatic start. The angular "Birth in reverse" is not one of the stronger tracks here but the track "Prince Johnny" that follows is a joy. It is almost a conventional ballad for Clark infused with brilliant lyrics not least the observation "Remember the time we went and snorted/A piece of the Berlin wall that you'd extorted/And we'd had such a laugh of it/Prostrate on my carpet". From here on the album gets better and better. "Huey Newton" starts like a slow trip hop song, only to introduce a nasty powered monster riff at around 3 minutes. The brassy single "Digital Witness" is a hybrid of Talking Heads meets Prince slice of funk accompanied with a brilliant video that updates Fritz Lang's classic silent film Metropolis. The next song "Regret" is like that very clever pop of the Dirty Projectors variety and a delight to the ears. The crunchy rock of "Psychopath" is hewn from the same cloth as "Rattlesnakes" whilst "Every Tear Disappears" is overshadowed by the albums standout and concluding track "Severed Crossed Fingers". On this Clark injects black humour into a Bowie like forlorn tale of love where she ruefully reflects, " Well you stole the heart right out my chest/Changed the words that I know best/Found myself with crossed fingers in the rubble there"

The great news about St Vincent is that this is by far her most accessible album to date. There has been nothing wrong with her inspired eclectic music to date, it is just that Annie Clark's fourth album finally completes the picture on the jigsaw box and nearly all the pieces fit perfectly
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2014
If you're familiar with St. Vincent, I think this is her least accessible album. The beats are really zany and hard to hook with, but it is a fun and wild. It has your typical quirky lyrics, experimental sounds, talking heads inspired beats, dreamy/atmospheric beats, funny songs and theatrical. She deserves all the credit for trying hard to change the sound of things and keeping things fresh. It is very much avante garde inspired and energy filled. There are many complex and simple layers to her music. I hope as she grows older and matures her music strips of her quirkiness and grows into the purely moody atmospheric stuff she writes, it's very touching and heartfelt. It always feels like the second half of all her albums gets slower, sensitive, and loving towards the end. She has a really big soft caring heart nobody seems to mention, it's overshadowed by her strange quirkiness.some of Her music can pull you into hypnotic moody dream states.This is one of the best promising/indie acts around today. Thanks for being so prolific: 5 albums in 7 years.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2014
So many great songs in this collection and, for the first time with a St. Vincent release, not one song that I don't like. But this review is about the vinyl product not the music.

As Annie Clark seems happy with mastering her recordings on the louder side I bought the vinyl this time so that I'd have at least some control over the volume when I convert it to a lossless digital file.

The gate-fold album cover is beautiful with the symbols for S,T and V in raised gold. The disc resides in the left slot while the right side has the lyric sheet.

However, the record is housed in a cheap, paper inner sleeve. When I tried to extract the disc I found that it was stuck to the sleeve with static. Once I removed the disc I saw that it looked sort of old already - a dusty sheen left by what I assume is microscopic paper residue from the sleeve and a clear line of dust running from the outer edge to the middle. The label was badly glued onto the vinyl, with air bubbles in it and the disc had a rough edge and was warped too. Basically, while it has good thickness, it looks cheaply made. I cleaned the record thoroughly before playing it for the first time but it still sounded as if it had been stored on someone's carpet.

I'm returning my copy to Amazon for a replacement and hopefully that one will be better. But instead of sliding the disc out of the sleeve I'm going to cut the sleeve off and replace it with a proper anti static sleeve.

It's surprising that a release of such quality and consistency hasn't been given packaging to match.

Update:

The new copy arrived today and I'm happy and relieved to say that it's in much better condition than the first. Apart from some very minor static during the first half of 'Huey Newton' and the very occasional pop the disc is pretty much perfect. It still came in a cheap inner sleeve which I did cut off instead of sliding off. There's no dusty residue on the record but there are what look like water stains on it. Thankfully these don't affect playback. The label is glued properly and the edge of the disc is smooth.

Even so, having read the comments on the Steve Hoffman forums it does seem as if the chances of getting a good copy of this vinyl are 50 / 50 at best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2014
I am a lover of the music of Kate Bush and Bjork, so St. Vincent was no big surprise for me. But I must admit, she has kicked it up a notch.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2014
Great Album. I'm a huge fan. Have you ever looked at rainbow stretched across the sky? It's immense. Then looked at a picture of a rainbow. All of the colors are on the picture but its just not the same because the scale is so much smaller. The new St Vincent CD is like the little rainbow, beautiful. Seeing St Vincent LIVE is the giant rainbow stretched from one horizon to the other. And when she rips into the guitar solos the music is like a sonic tsunami. The riffs roll off the stage like an unstoppable wave. Buy the album. It's great, but don't miss the live show. It's even better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2015
I like the songs and the playing mostly rocks. But, this pales next to her live shows. Not only fun to watch, Annie's guitar playing will scorch your mind. It didn't matter if you were experienced or came with virgin ears, we all melted into the floor as she shredded her musical magic across the room. This CD is merely a teaser for what St. Vincent can really do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2015
One of the best albums of 2014. If unsure after one listen, listen once again and you will likely be hooked. Great guitar hooks, great lyrics, great vocals. If you're not sure you'll like her, check out the clips of her SNL performance from 5/17/14. If you like PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, Goldfrapp, Regina Spektor and the like, then you will likely enjoy St. Vincent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2014
I did not know of this artist until I recently saw her on The Colbert report. She's uber talented & quirky & a great guitar player (which my husband loves about her)-- I suspect that once you listen to her you will either love the music or hate it. I kinda love it. You hear something new each time & it ain't boring. I was a fan of some of the Talking Heads work but I find this more accessible than the music by David Byrne. Equally eclectic & creative though. May have to seek out their collaboration to see if I can handle that. Anyway -- can't wait to pop this in the car audio system & bop around with the sun roof open. When it gets above freezing that is. (I live in Central New York)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2014
I am a fan of the work St. Vincent has done lately with David Byrne, and am relatively new to her solo/self-titled work. This album is very interesting, multi-layered and fun to listen to. No dull tracks and all have a bit of something challenging to listen to. Probably not for everyone, but if you're made it this far looking into reviews, I think you'll like this album and should go for it - does not disappoint.
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