Annie Clark released one of the most critically celebrated albums of the decade in 2014. ‘St. Vincent’ was a demonstration in self assuredness and freedom of experimentation as she merged cosmic guitar riffs with brutally honest social commentary and opinionated dissection of modern relationships. This week Clark repackages her acclaimed album which picked up the award for Best Alternative Album at the Grammy Awards with four new tracks and a remix from Darkside.
We see St. Vincent reach further levels of experimentation on this new package, ‘Pieta’ has a melody rooted in tribal drum beat and a similarly ethereal hook to a number of tracks found on Clark’s preceding album ‘Strange Mercy’. ‘Sparrow’ is an encapsulating piece of music than groans and moans like a dystopian piece of machinery whilst she ominously chants about the lord and Mary. This song was played briefly during St. Vincent’s recent European tour and I’m assured it would’ve been one of the most obscurely dark moments from the set.
‘Del Rio’ is a proud anthemic piece of alt-rock with chanting chorus and snarling guitar, an embodiment of everything that made the standard edition of this album so momentously successful. ‘Bad Believer’, the current single is possibly my pick of this edition, the frantic melody and bizarre narrative feel almost like a B-side to ‘Birth In Reverse’ yet it will once again allow Annie to showcase her masterful live skills that have many publications claiming she is this generation’s David Bowie.
To summate this album as a whole for those who may not have heard the standard edition; St. Vincent demonstrates a masterful understanding of genres including rock, pop and alternative and allows herself creative freedom and courage of expression and experimentation. Between the elegant, sophisticated pop of ‘Prince Johnny’, the snarling, gurgling ‘Sparrow’, the religion-challenging ‘I Prefer Your Love’ and track of the year ‘Digital Witness’ you experience music incomparable to contemporaries and surpassable of peers creating anything even remotely similar.
The album is released February 9 through Loma Vista/Republic.