Masseduction is the new album from St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark. It is her 6th, if you count the one she did with David Byrne. As the title may suggest, themes of sex, power, vulnerable relationships and death weave throughout the lyrics, which are autobiographical, according to Clark. Musically, Clark’s inventive guitar, synth and electronics create a punchy sonic backdrop.
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- LVR00225 / Limited Deluxe Edition pink coloured vinyl LP on Loma Vista, housed in PVC wallet with 2 colour screen print. Includes poster insert + sticker sheet, 24-page booklet + download card
- Includes download code
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Hold on. Just adjusting to this one real quick. I need someone to do a system update to my understanding of St. Vincent, who has here transformed from her aerobic and often cosmic guitar workouts into a ballad-maker and pop blitzer. I’m not mad -- at all -- but figured the discussion around this record suggested a very small shift between her majestic, best-yet self-titled record and this one. There, she suggested pop music from freaky, abrasive corners and large, surrealist personas -- here she largely ditches guitars and goes in on compact, bombastic hooks.
It kinda rules. As our newest staffer Daoud pointed out, it’s been really obvious lately, in certain corners of rock music, that David Bowie is dead: the second half of the initially giddy “Pills” grinds to a halt with arpeggiated chords that lean into a ‘Hunky Dory’ style ballad of pic ‘n’ mix dejection and jubilation. “New York” is a piano-driven lament drawn into chaos by its booming electronics and constrictive bass; it sounds expansive and claustrophobic while feeling weepy but snide at (“if I call you from first avenue”, she sings, “you’re the only motherfucker in the city who can handle me”). And then there’s the serene and perfect “Slow Disco”, adorned by strings so sweet I’d put it on a playlist with Peter Gabriel’s version of “Heroes”.
In the bigger, more pushy pop songs, it feels like St. Vincent has found the club but chosen to smoke outside of it. “Young Lover” is filled with the distant throb of dance music before laying down what sounds like industrial handclaps and shimmering noise. Playing with these elemental layers -- whether tripping them apart and throwing them onto the fire -- she creates a breathless pop music that you never quite feel comfortable in -- it’s ecstatic party stuff, but it always puts you in the eye of that party. I didn't think it at first but now I do: this is her most daring work.
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