Album Review: MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent


AlbumMASSEDUCTION
ArtistSt. Vincent
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Favorite Tracks: none
Thoughts: I’m a longtime St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) fan and have written about her on this blog many times, so I was eager to hear her fifth album.  Sadly, it’s a disappointment.  Supposedly this album is her attempt to move to a more pop-oriented sound, so naturally that would be alienating to a long-time fan.  But I don’t think it even succeeds as a pop album as there are no catchy hooks and the grim lyrics sound maudlin over the kitschy sound. St. Vincent’s music may be inaccessible to many, but this is the first time that I find it to be dull.  I can’t help but feel that there’s a message in the cover of the album where St. Vincent is mooning her audience.
Rating: **

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2014 Year in Review: Favorite albums


I’ve never attempted to make a list of favorite albums, primarily due to economic reasons I’ve never been able to listen to enough albums to make a fair judgment.  But now we live in the age of the cloud and I subscribe to Rdio and have the opportunity to listen to a lot more albums than ever before.  So, I’m going to give this a go, but I’m still not going to make a top ten, just eight favorites.

If you’re interested in more of the best albums of 2014, check out the lists compiled by my friends Erik and Jon.

The albums are arranged alphabetically by artist. I’ve included a sample song from each album, but check out SoundCloud, YouTube, or the artists’ websites for more.  I’ve also included an Rdio playlist of all eight albums below.

Aphex TwinSyro 

The first album by Richard James released under the Aphex Twin moniker is a sonic wave of electronic noise and melody.

Clap! Clap! – Tayi Bebba

A project of Italian alian producer C. Crisci, Clap! Clap! creates dance music by combining electronic sounds with samples of traditional African music.  While not the first  effort to make this combination of sounds, Tayi Bebba is remarkably unique.

Ex HexRips

Following up on the great supergroup project of Wild Flag, Mary Timony is back with another band that plays just straight-up great rock & roll.  I haven’t fallen in love with an album this quickly in a long time.

FM BelfastBrighter Days

An electronic-pop band from Iceland plays on all of my weakness.  This music reminds me of the 1980s, but done right.

Moon HoochThis is Cave Music

Moon Hooch is an all-sax band.  Cave music is apparently saxophones playing swinging dancetunes that feel like acoustic EDM.

St. Vincent

Annie Clark’s eponymous album is on all the best-of lists of this year, so I don’t need to say more than if you haven’t listened to it, check it out now.

 3rdEyeGirlPLECTRUMELECTRUM

Prince released two albums this fall, and this is the better of the two, a collaboration with a new all-woman band of guitar player Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford and  bassist Ida Kristine Nielsen.  Prince responds well when challenged by working with other great artists, and this album has more of a rock vibe than I’ve heard from Prince in some time.

Ana Tijoux – Vengo

French-Chilean hip-hop MC blends Latin beats, R&B, and consciousness-raising lyrics.

 

http://www.rdio.com/people/Othemts/playlists/12376150/Favorite_Albums_of_2014/

 

 

 

 

 

Song of the Week: “Digital Witness” by St. Vincent


I’m a hipster for St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, and thus excited by the release of her recent eponymous album.  “Digital Witness” is one of the most striking tracks off that album with its funky horns (or synths disguised as horns) and get-up-and-dance-at-a-funeral groove.

Take a listen & see.

The video will freak you out.  I think St. Vincent has usurped Bjork for the artist who frightens  me in the best way.

More commentary on this song via Stereogum and Pitchfork.

What are you listening to this week?  Let me know in the comments.

Ten Favorite Songs of 2011


The project continues with my favorite songs of 2011.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

I originally covered 2011 with a Year in Review post.

Bite of My Soul – The Fleshtones

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Cruel – St. Vincent

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Eleven –  Thao & Mirah

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Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes

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No Banker Left Behind –  Ry Cooder

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Romance – Wild Flag

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Santa Fe – Beirut 

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Shake It Out – Florence + The Machine 

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Up Up Up – The Givers

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We Are Young – fun. feat. Janelle Monáe

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And three songs from 2011 worth an honorable mention:

Bizness –  tUnE-yArDs

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Midnight City–  M83

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Turn It On – Waines 

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Ten Favorite Songs of 2009


The project continues with my favorite songs of 2009.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

2009 is the first time I made a list of favorite songs at the end of the year, so we can look back and see what songs stood the test of time, and what songs I’ve learned of in the intervening years.

The End is Near – The Fiery Furnaces

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Home – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

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Inspiration Information – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

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People Got a Lot of Nerve – Neko Case

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The Rake’s Song – The Decemberists

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Sabali  – Amadou & Mariam

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Stillness is the Move – The Dirty Projectors

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The Strangers – St. Vincent

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Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear

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Wavin’ Flag  – K’naan

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And here are four additional songs from 2009 that I thought worthy of an honorable mention:

Bonkers – Dizzee Rascal & Armand Van Helden

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I and Love and You – Avett Brothers

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My Girls – Animal Collective

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1901 – Phoenix

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What were your favorite songs of the last year of the last decade?