The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

New Issue: St. Vincent

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St Vincent, Strange Mercy –  It’s time to face a reality – it’s truly hard to have a love affair without really knowing the person. With that being said, I’m finding it harder and harder to describe my relationship with Annie Clark and her music – obsession seems to oblique, idolized has odd religious undertones, and respect seems to clinical. Needless to say, this will be yet another glowing review of her latest musical installment, Strange Mercy.

Say what you might about her actual music, but one thing to notice about Annie is that she is good. Plain and simple, she crafts a song well. True to it’s point, meticulous in construction and lingering in it;s impact. Strange Mercy delves deeper into her darker material, stretching the dichotomy of her ethereal voice with her darker than dark (and increasingly more distorted) arrangements. What was started on Actor – the pleasant as pain – is thoroughly expressed in Strange Mercy. Better yet, each song feels much more resolute on it’s own. Actor is meant to be digested as an album; Strange Mercy can be digested similarly, but often each track stands alone. Furtheremore, there is an actual radio friendly hit – Cruel’s odd sense of displacement but upbeat rhythm makes you almost forget that you should be in pain (the video follows similar suit). Annie always seems to find a way to use quirk and off kilter melodies that just narrowly escape the bounds of art rock to something more familiar.

As a whole, this is by far her best work. It’s been terribly fun to map her progression – torch song/indie rock standard bearer, to garage rock slinger of doom and gloom at its most pleasant, to conceptual art house arranger. Strange Mercy is another leap forward into her artistic expression and leaves you just as satisfied on repeated listens. I’m more than happy to continue my demonic  ritualistic appreciation of her work, whatever I you call it.

Written by TopDrop

February 28th, 2012 at 1:00 am

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