Music Box: St. Vincent, “St. Vincent”

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]If you are not instantly a fan of St. Vincent’s new album “St. Vincent,” do not be shocked. My first experience with art rock was very off-putting. This album sounded like an awful ‘80s nightmare.
St. Vincent’ s music is similar to Lady Gaga’s in the way that both artists’ songs have the habit of changing rhythm by the chorus, which was a major turnoff for me.
After re-listening to the album a few more times, I began to appreciate the lyrical madness of St. Vincent. Her lyrics teeter between extreme happiness and complete insanity, while keeping an upbeat tune.
A perfect example comes from the ninth track on her album titled “Psychopath.” The song has an optimistic beat accompanied by dark lyrics: “Runnin’ down the highway like a psychopath/All the flames and fury honey at my back/Wanna make a bet whether I’ll make it back/Cause I’m on the edge of a heart attack.”
With some research, I began to appreciate how St. Vincent’s work is experimental and brings together elements from many different genres like chamber rock, pop, indie rock and cabaret jazz—a mixture that gives her music such an interesting sound.
“St. Vincent” features many gems worth listening to, like “Rattlesnake,” “Digital Witness” and “Bring Me Your Loves” that all have a distinct sound and interesting beats.
Then there are tracks like “Prince Johnny” which are slower-paced and keep the same monotonous beat throughout the song’s duration—and the slow tempo makes the four-minute song seem to drag on. “Severed Crossed Fingers” is very similar to “Prince Johnny” in that respect.
If you are listening for the first time and are not quite used to art rock, I would recommend starting with “Birth in Reverse” or “Digital Witness,” which have recently been released for digital streaming. Both songs showcase St. Vincent’s talents with their distinct musical differences and lyrical brilliance.
Overall this album is a hit or miss. Some tracks like “Rattlesnake” and “Bring Me Your Loves” are excellent combinations of lyrical and instrumental genius, while others (ie. “Prince Johnny”) are less so.

Article by Maureen Crowley

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