Annie Clark, or St. Vincent, as she’s better know, gives the world a lesson of non-typical pop on her synth-laden new album, MASSEDUCTION.
When listening to Clarks last self-titled, Grammy Award-winning album, an album that lies on the very left of rock, almost tipping into alternative rock-pop, you could never imagine a St. Vincent that sits solely in the pop category.
Well, you don’t have to imagine it because it’s happened – Clark is a fully-fledged pop star.
Putting MASSEDUCTION in a sub-section is hard, while it’s alt-pop in places, it doesn’t carry the moody vibes that most do, and synth-pop simply doesn’t do it justice – so we’re kinda stuck.
The album brings together some glorious sounds, like on the recently released “Pills,” a song about addiction to drugs – especially sleeping pills – (“pills to wake, pills to sleep, pills pills pills everyday of the week”), although you wouldn’t guess that from the nursery rhyme tone to it. But like all drugs, there’s a comedown and Clark represents this on the extended outro, a near two minute long (almost) ballad that puts the song in context.
The frantic nature of the song is showcased in a few others across the album, including the song that sounds most like the St. Vincent we all know, “Fear The Future,” with guitars flying everywhere and house drums offering an image of a hectic light show – it gives you the life you need to get through the day!
The album lies more on the left side of pop (it appears Clark likes the left side of genres), there a couple of perfect pop moments that could easily top the charts – you know, if streaming didn’t ruin them – like the glorious seconds single from the album, “Los Ageless,” a song that links the beautiful Los Angeles to a broken relationship where Clark states; “How could anybody love you and lose you and not lose their minds too,” over a glossy synth-pop production.
Title track, “MASSEDUCTION” also offers a perfect pop moment, with a classic one-two beat that relies on electronic swirls and a synth backbone where a kinky side of the star is shown, and not for the last time.
“Saviour” features lyrics like “you dress me up in a nurses outfit,” as well as more lyrics that I’ll leave you to find across the kinky song – that her aunt helped with, funnily enough.
The album isn’t perfect though, while the record shows Clark’s vulnerable side through ballads, they can become a little tiresome, and a bit of a comedown between the frantic beats and dance-inducing bangers. On tracks like “Sugarboy,” she comes across as an artist that is too similar to previous artists – I mean, if you listen to the chorus and can’t hear even a slither of Lorde then you need you ears testing – although the song was produced by man of the moment (and Lorde helper), Jack Antonoff.
But the good outways the bad (I mean, it’s easily one of the best albums of the year), and where she allows her pipes to take centre stage like on “Young Lover,” a song about finding a lover at death’s door, passed out on the bathroom floor after an overdose, you can really appreciate her as an artist.
We couldn’t be more pleased that Clark has decided to push her St. Vincent alter-ego all the way into the pop-sphere – hopefully, she stays.
Check out the record below and let us know what you think in the comments!