Review: St Vincent’s ‘MASSEDUCTION’

St. Vincent aka Annie Clark – album, MASSEDUCTION, pronounced ‘MASS-SEDUCTION’ evokes themes of intimacy and dynamism, compromised relationships and the temptation to overdose on the former themes through the album. The thirteen tracks on MASSEDUCTION combine synth, guitar, strings, piano and drum beats that compliment the neon-chromatic album. The album was co-produced by St. Vincent and Jack Antonoff who notably produced Taylor’s Swifts most recent album at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan. Special guests on the album include Kamasi Washington Jenny Lewis and Thomas Bartlett.

Her reckoning of capitalism and the digital era are at the heart of this album, whilst focusing on specific emotions that make us authentically human

“Every record I make has an archetype,” Clark announced in a press release. Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. MASSEDUCTION is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.” Perhaps it’s telling that her reckoning of capitalism and the digital era are at the heart of this album, whilst focusing on specific emotions that make us authentically human (which may be inspired by her ex Cara Delevigne who’s vocals are on the song ‘Pills’). Nonetheless, its definite that MASSEDUCTION is the pinnacle of her years’ writing in human experience especially on her travels- this is why the album is so beguiling; it is simply St. Vincent’s honest anecdote.

From her debut album Marry Me we can still hear her primal sounds of soft melodies from the synth clouded despondency of opener ‘Hang On Me’ (“the void is back and I’m blinking”). The affair shifts to two madness induced tracks: ‘Young Lover’ and the other ‘Pills’ which explores the notion of hallucination and self medicating. However, among the everlasting propelling funk and the panoramic sound of dreamlike cravings, the MASSEDUCTION song itself cordially ratifies her carnal sexual desires “I can’t turn off what turns me on,” she protests. To pick a song that sums up the luminous hued album, it would have to be ‘New York’; it oozes rebellious charm and encompasses motifs of loss in amongst a surrounding of opportunity.

‘New York’ oozes rebellious charm and encompasses motifs of loss in amongst a surrounding of opportunity

The most relatable song is ‘Happy Birthday, Johnny’: the faint, ethereal piano accompanied by the retrospection of “you’ve changed” is a particular memoir to her past lovers. ‘Smoking Section’ ends on a darker, obscure note of her psyche, but the final line “it’s not the end” gives us a sense of promise or future for St. Vincent. This album exclusively gives us an intimate insight into Annie Clark’s personal ordeals, whilst combining an elevated experimental soundscape in comparison to her former albums. 7/10

 

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