St. Vincent

St. Vincent in the past always maintained a certain distance from her work. Her stuff was experimental, often confusing and rarely related to anything that you could you could really lay down. Her distance was her weapon and allowed her to make music that was cutting without revealing to much of herself. That was then and this is MASSEDUCTION. This new album with the cover showing St. Vincent bending over from behind is her most raw work to date. This becomes so vividly clear on the second track "Pills". On this song St. Vincent damn near admits to overdosing as she does into all the situations where we need "pills" just to get through. Sex, partying, recovery, pain and love all wrapped up in this addiction to pills. It's an allegory for how many people in America are going through life, but one she takes on herself and brings us in to her own head space. She does that all over MASSEDUCTION (read Mass Seduction) especially on the title track with these raging guitars and an almost robotic vocal delivery. It feels like fucking Prince all over this album, but Prince of the Purple Rain era. The synths pound away but they never overtake melody. As experimental as St. Vincent may get some times she never really gives up on writing a good song that you can actually connect with, regardless of what high minded methods she may take to get there. This album is far more focused on the dance aspects of her sound, masking her more sinister intentions with a beat that you can actually dance to.  The album is really sexual in it's insatiable appetite for lust. More, more, more seems to be the rallying cry for this album, but not more to consume more to imbibe.

"Los Angeles" is so rich with this huge sound absolutely filling every inch of space only to descend into this distorted pounding beat. Her real gift on this album is when she is able to slow it down without you feeling it at all. On "Happy Birthday, Johnny" you can hear the pain in her voice, it's not really all that funny anymore and when you wake up from the party and you have last nights glitter all over your face. This record is just so visceral, you can feel every note dripping with the grime of reality. You can sometimes find albums that feel very honest or with incredible production but putting the two together is one of the most difficult things to accomplish and St. Vincent absolutely does it. In many ways St. Vincent has embodied a bona fide rockstar in her career perhaps even before it was true, but here she brings you on the spiral with both the highs and the lows that fame provides. Then suddenly on "Slow Disco" we see it all fall apart in this beautiful way, crumbling from something besutiful into something new and more compressed by pressure. The album closes on "Smoking Section" one of the more classically St. Vincent tracks, highly dramatic and full of palpible despair. You can almost hear St. Vincent trying to convince herself that "It's not the end" as she sings it over and over again on the track as it shifts from a slide guitar into just a pounding bass drum and finally one piano cord ends it all. Full of drama and incredibly diverse this new record from St. Vincent is absolutely fantastic.

9.0 out of 10


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