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St. Vincent is the stage name of singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist Annie Clark. The popping-eyed cover photo and ironically-inviting title of her debut beckon us into her world of sideways-looking, slightly jaded but still bright and jazzy pop. It grabs the attention with some very busy, colourful rock-cabaret arrangements, and a quirky backing chorus that keep chipping in. On the strong opener "Now Now" she chastises her mistreaters while punning on her name, to an endearing choppy rhythm. "Jesus Saves, I Spend" sets some peculiar imagery to a breezy barbershop-style backing. It does veer towards rather too smooshy a cabaret-lounge style on occasion but avoids it with regular bursts of energy, like the light-footed jazz of "Human Racing". The clear highlight is "Your Lips Are Red", which reels off repetitive body-parts wordplay to some shockingly inventive music, booming bassline and choppy guitars that it's not too much of a stretch to call prog-rock.
August 30, 2008
See blog entry: More female singers (30 Aug, 2008)