Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Rattlesnakes and Psychopaths: Inside the mind of St-Vincent.

I am always on the prowl for new music, scouring the underbrushes of the jungle of noises and sound to unearth a new beat, one from leather drums nobody heard before. It's not that I want to bring a trophy back and show off the rarest catch; I'm just bored easily and constantly trying to trap new prey.

Source: Jaymzclements.wordpress.com
 
And the next victim to fall is Anne Clark, better known as St.Vincent. She is like a lone wolf who howls in the night, not for mating ritual purposes but rather to share her melancholy with the rest of the animal kingdom. And she doesn't seem to give one fuck about who answers the call. Afterall, she does have a bark that matches her bite.

So to celebrate this call from the wild, this echo of enchanting music, I will review each song from St.Vincent's fourth studio album, self-titled and released earlier this year. Enjoy!



Rattlesnake
The album's opening track is infused with an opium trip reminiscent of Kate Bush and the era of 80's psychedelic pop. It's up-beat and odd but not so odd that you're left wondering what it is you're listening to. It's experimental and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Rating: 5/5
Memorable Lyrics: The only sound out here is my own breath / and my feet stuttering to make a path / am I the only one in the only world?

Birth in Reverse
This track was released as the lead and only single for the album. It's very daytime and has a folk vibe to it, not unlike Lykke Li's sound. It's definitely a dance-all-out-while-being-alone-in-your-underwear song.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: This too will haunt me through the war / laugh all you want, but I want more / 'cause what I'm swearing, I never sworn before.


Prince Johnny
I don't particularly like songs like this usually. It's still keeping up with that very 80's vibe but in a down tempo kinda way. I'm literally expecting rain clouds to appear when this song is played. There is so much lingering and nostalgia to it that it's borderline depressive.
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: But honey, don't mistake my affection / for another split in pennystyle redemption / cause we're all sons of someone's.

Huey Newton
After hearing this song, I finally realised who this artist reminded me of. And that is Morcheeba. There is a certain trip-hop vibe to St.Vincent's music and it's not always a bad thing, but I found the nod to classic trip-hop a bit overused in this song. A bit scaled back and I would have loved this!
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: Fuck-less, porn sharks / toothless but got a big bark / live children, blind psychics / turned online assassins.

Digital Witness
This song has a really weird 60's vibe to it, and not in a good way. It would be perfect for a mid-afternoon gathering, if people our age actually did mid-afternoon gatherings. But we don't. So this song clashes with the youthfulness and experimentation of the other tracks. It's all about caring but not showing you care which I never understood. Yeah, it's just confusing.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: People turn the TV on and throw it out the window, yeah / get back to your stare / I care, but I don't care / Oh, oh, I want all of your mind.

I Prefer Your Love
What is sweeter than a tribute to the love between a mother and her child? Nothing, that's what. And although the lyrics are sweet and the music is calming, there's just something about the way she compares a motherly love with that of Jesus'. It's not only NOT necessary but it's just gratuitous. I don't feel that religious ideology coming through as well as, let's say, Sinead O'Connor does in her music. It just doesn't feel genuine.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: Sure as mother licking a finger / wipe the blush and smudge from my cheek / and wonder what will become of your little one / but all the good in me is because of you.

Source: finefinemusic.com

Regret
Back to dramatics! After a slump of sad songs, she comes back with something a bit more theatrical. It pulls you in all the right directions without confusing you or getting you lost in your tracks. It's just a very well produced song and surprisingly, it's not a single.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: Memories so bright, I gotta squint just to recall / regret the words I've bitten / more than the ones I ever said


Bring Me Your Loves
Yet another upbeat and energetic track to get things back in the groove. It reminds me a lot of Robyn or even Bjork, in the sense that it's all about being the one who cares for all and on a personal level, I can relate to this. So definitely my personal favourite off of this album.
Rating: 5/5
Memorable Lyrics: I thought you were a dog / but you made a pet of me / bring me all your loves, all your loves / I wanna love 'em too, ya know.

Psychopath
Oh this song brought me back to summer when my close friend left for a few months to go back home (across the sea) to visit his sick father. It was a tough time and he always reminded me that this would only make our relationship stronger, and it did. So this resonates on such a deep level that I'm still feeling those good vibrations.
Rating: 4/5
Memorable Lyrics: You said, "Honey, quit your worrying" / Distance is exactly like a blowing wind / we're putting out the embers and tiny flames / and keepin' the big ones burnin'.

Every Tears Disappears
And back to sad songs. It's not necessarily bad, but it's so referential that it's almost a caricature. I just don't take this song seriously. It's passé, it's deja-vu, it's just synth over synth over dramatic lyrics. It's not bad, it just gets lost in this sea of awesome songs.
Rating: 2/5
Memorable Lyrics: Oh, what about the pain / don't ask me how / I just know that it fades / hey-hey-hey

Severed Cross Fingers
The closing track is very retro and brings it back full circle to the opening track. This album is very experimental as I said above and this song kinda combines all the elements of the album into one. That is what is great about this album, especially this song, it's that it's hard to pin-point exactly what generation influence St.Vincent. if it's not a trip-hoppy 90's beat, it's an 80's infused synth sound. If she isn't whispering a la 60's, she's talk-singing a la 2000's. it's great.
Rating: 3/5
Memorable Lyrics: When you're calling, ain't calling you back to you / cause i'll be side stage, mouthing lines for you / humiliated by age, terrified of youth / I got hope, but my hope isn't helping you.


I kinda want to listen to the album again now. That first song keeps me coming back for more and hopefully, it will do the same for you! Enjoy!

Candles are out,
Eleven's Ink

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