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St. vincent strange mercy4 20110713 102711

Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - 2011

Disclaimer - I have a big crush on Annie Clark. That fact may skew my ability to review her album, but I don't think so. The reason I have a crush on her has to do with all of the elements of "Strange Mercy". She's a fantastic songwriter who doesn't play by the rules. She's as comfortable writing big, catchy hooks, as she is writing weird instrumental freak outs. She's beautiful, but doesn't use it in an exploitive way. Instead she just makes great albums that don't so much brake the rules, as they do ignore them. I’ve referred to her as “my new Bjork”, since I haven’t liked Bjork’s last few efforts. Annie’s unique sound and artistry remind me of what Bjork always strived to produce. (without sounding anything like her) She's a badass guitar player, with a really unique style. Annie is a guitar player's guitar player. She doesn't sound like a woman or a man playing guitar, just a guitar player. The tones on the title track are right up there with any popular guitar players this year. (Can I write “guitar player” any more often?) Her albums have a lot of production, which I think is a function of her composing with computers. She has said that she wrote most of the album on an acoustic guitar, but she always uses techie tools to get her sound across. If you look up acoustic performances on youtube, you can hear that the songs are strong in any setting, which is a telling trait for any songwriter. The Flaming Lips were always at their best when they used their weird-freakout-psychadelic-noise sound to make their own version of pop records, with the avant-garde slant only heightening the pop song structure. St. Vincent records come from a similar school of thought. Or maybe there is no thought. It's more likely just the way music sounds to Annie. Beautiful and weird.

Posted by Tambe



Posted: 08/27/2013

Review by:



Tambe ranks this as the
#5 favorite album of 2011