St. Vincent's ACTOR One of the Best Albums of 2009
2010-01-28 08:49:12 Posted By: Bill - Archives
If you're tired of the Taylor Swifts and Lady Gagas of the music industry and you want to find a chanteuse whose musical talents take an exit ramp off the mainstream pop freeway onto the scenic backroads of song writing genius, check out an album called "Actor" by St. Vincent (Annie Clark being St. Vincent's real name).
“Actor” is Annie Clark’s second major solo release. It’s interesting that most of her musical career has been spent on projects that involve huge numbers of musicians, such as the 100 Guitar Orchestra, the Polyphonic Spree, which has about 30 members, and Sufjan Stevens’ touring band, which is large enough to have its own Zip Code.
With “Actor,” the faceless, anonymous musical talent known as Annie Clark transforms herself like a superhero into St. Vincent, maker of amazing, dazzling, powerful, beautiful, quirky music that is so much more Grammy-worthy than Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga.
The songs on “Actor” are each little vignettes of life that can make you feel uncomfortable and safe at the same time. The music is challenging, yet accessible, the lyrics familiar yet fresh. Those are just some of the reasons that this album is so special.
The music comes from multiple instruments ranging from strings and woodwinds to electric guitars and techno keyboards. The lyrics are amazing, from simply strange to Rembrandts in words. Here are a couple examples. First, from the song The Bed: “We’re sleeping underneath the bed, To scare the monsters out, With our dear daddy’s Smith and Wesson, We gotta teach them all a lesson.” Then there is this lyric from the song Save Me From What I Want: “Honey what reveals you is what you try and hide away, You could tell the planets or your pillowcase, But I’m a wife in watercolors, I can wash away, What seventeen cold showers couldn’t wash away.”
One of my favorite songs on the album is Just the Same But Brand New. If you want to hear this song performed live, go to the St. Vincent Web site at www.ilovestvincent.com/ and click the YouTube frame. It’s outstanding, just like this whole album. Highly recommended!