St. Vincent : MASSEDUCTION
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St. Vincent : MASSEDUCTION

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Evangelical empress Annie Clark, AKA St. Vincent, makes her long-awaited return to form with her wildly anticipated fifth album MASSEDUCTION.

This time around, Clark has teamed up with renowned producer Jack Antonoff to create her most pop-infused record to date. While the album contains flourishes of Clark’s fearsome guitar licks for which she’s renowned, it’s predominately cast to the side to make way for St. Vincent’s new brand of glossy electro-pop and heart-wrenching, soul-crushing balladry.

Dress it up however you want, the lyrical content on MASSEDUCTION is undeniably sad, no two ways about it. Sure, her lyrics may be concealed behind uber-kink and electro-pop pulses, drenched in abrasive synth freak-outs and hypnotic vocals, but the record is a glaringly confessional affair, containing whiffs of despair, trickles of longing and a profound sense of insecurity, wrapped up in hyper-coloured Pantone plastic and served to listeners on a glistening art-pop platter.

Here, synth-soaked dancefloor anthems, robotic beats and mechanical vocals collide with strikingly candid piano ballads and sweeping strings, tied together with Clark’s breathtaking vocal arrangements. Album opener ‘Hang On Me’ exposes a vulnerability and sense of forlorn that seeps through the entire album. The opener is followed up by a whimsical jaunt into the pharmaceutically-laden paradise of ‘Pills’ – an art-pop jingle that’ll get caught in your head for days. 

Title track ‘Masseduction’ along with ‘Sugarboy’ showcase the pop-infused selections on the record, featuring throbbing electro beats and robo-guitar chops, while ‘New York’ is a stark piano ballad that features nothing more than Clark’s floaty vocals and the tinkling of piano keys. But its tracks like ‘Happy Birthday, Johnny’ that underscore the devastating fragility that permeates through the album, as Clark speaks directly to the character she’s addressed on her previous releases in a shattering song that highlights the intrinsic loneliness and sense of abandon that comes hand in hand with celebrity and fame.

Overall, MASSEDUCTION is an enthralling, intimate record that features constant twists, turns and nuances, leading audiences toward a sharp descent into the deepest and most foreboding cavities in the fortress of St Vincent’s imagination.