A full-length that takes every brilliant, twisted idea and supersizes it.
Label: Loma Vista
Released: 13th October 2017
There aren’t many artists like St. Vincent. Heck, it’s quite possible she’s one of a kind, but then all the best have that strand of individuality that marks them out from the field. It’s a trait which finally started to gain the mainstream recognition it deserves on her previous, self-titled album. An explosion of oddball, unique pop, it became the big breakthrough record that pulls the threads together, adding swagger to every move. From first listen, it was obviously something special. Now its effects have fully taken hold, it’s given birth to something on an altogether different scale.
‘MASSEDUCTION’ isn’t just the next record off the conveyor belt. In some ways, its day-glo highlights might be the logical next move for Annie Clark, but while others would take the attention and cash out, she’s done anything but.
Instead, she’s created a full-length that takes every brilliant, twisted idea and supersized it. ‘Sugarboy’ is a hundred foot high monster – half techno beats, half theatrical banger. At one point, it sounds like the Ghostbusters theme coming out of a dying child’s toy. ‘Pills’ matches it every step of the way, ringing out like a twisted playground rhyme before swinging a full 180 and floating out of the same door it entered through.
Where ‘St. Vincent’ may have been whip-smart in its pacing, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ has no time for anything but full-throttle. While personal preference may sway one way and the next, there’s no doubt that such directness works. Even the record’s slowest moment – lead track ‘New York’ – wins earworm status.
In the lead-up to the record, Clark has claimed this is the record to listen to if you want to really know what her life is like – but while it may well be her most first person full-length to date, no space is left to morbidly pick over lyrical content. Instead, it drips with confidence – be it natural or deliberately presented. From the reminiscence of ‘Young Lover’ to the virtual perfection of ‘Los Ageless’, every moment is gilded with gold.
As wider horizons open, Clark has grasped her opportunity with both hands. There’s no sign of hanging on for dear life, either. She’s in complete control at all times. On the biggest stage of all, St. Vincent does more than just succeed, she belongs. When, in years to come, they mark out the greats of this era, you can bet she’ll have her say. By then, she’ll be operating in a completely different universe. Stephen Ackroyd